Biden Thanks Okinawa on Milestone Anniversary


Tokyo, May 15 (Jiji Press)--U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday expressed his profound gratitude for the contribution made by Okinawa Prefecture as the day marked the 50th anniversary of the southernmost Japan prefecture's reversion to the country from post-World War II U.S. occupation.

The Battle of Okinawa, the ground battle fought between the U.S.-led allied forces and the then Japanese military during World War II, "was one of the most devastating" of the war, with many American and Japanese lives lost, Biden said in a statement.

"But in the decades since, the relationship between the United States and Japan has transformed from one of battlefield foes to allies united in common purpose, now the closest of friends," he said.

"I am profoundly grateful for Japan's resolute support for democracy, freedom and the rule of law and for Okinawa's contribution to advancing these ideals," Biden said.

Okinawa's reversion "represented an end to one chapter of our relationship and the beginning of another," he said. Noting that the U.S.-Japan alliance "is stronger than it has ever been, grounded in our shared values and our common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific," Biden said, "The people-to-people ties connecting Americans and Okinawans are an invaluable element that deepens the U.S.-Japan relationship."

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