TOKYO – Japan and the US have meant a partial return of the land used by U.s. forces to Okinawa in a ceremony on the southern island, but there was no sign of the move was to help reduce the protests against the heavy AMERICAN military presence.
Almost 10,000 hectares, or one-half of the U.S. military training area on the island, was returned to Okinawa in exchange for the construction of Osprey aircraft helipads in the area. Residents say that the deal only to move the load.
Requires an unconditional land back, Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga skipped Thursday’s ceremony, and at a protest.
An Osprey crash-landing off Okinawa last week has been added to the security and anti-U.S. base sentiment.
More than half of the 50,000 AMERICAN troops in Japan are stationed on Okinawa, in the framework of the bilateral security pact.