Okinawa People Voice Mixed Sentiments 50 Years after Reversion

Society

Ginowan, Okinawa Pref., May 15 (Jiji Press)--Residents of Okinawa Prefecture voiced mixed sentiments 50 years after the southernmost Japan prefecture's return to the country from 27-year post-World War II U.S. occupation.

"A passport became unnecessary (for travel to mainland Japan). It really helped me," former public servant Katsuhide Miyagi, 78, said of his memory at the time of the reversion.

After the reversion, however, more and more of Okinawa's sea was reclaimed although it was supposed to become a tourism-oriented prefecture, Miyagi said, adding that he therefore does not feel like fully celebrating the anniversary.

Miyagi attended a ceremony held in the Okinawa city of Ginowan on Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of the May 15, 1972, reversion.

Meanwhile, former Okinawa prefectural assembly member Hiroko Yamashiro, 78, who also took part in the ceremony, said, "Okinawa was able to develop like this thanks to the reversion although there also were a lot of problems."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press