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Okinawa bases gain unwanted attention as no-risk real estate

Outside investors buy military land for stable rent income

Members of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conduct fire hoses drills at the base fire station in Futenma, Okinawa. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Marines)

NAHA, Japan -- In the days after World War II, the U.S. military seized land on the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa to build American bases. After the occupation ended and Okinawa was officially returned to Japan in 1972, the bases remained, and since then, the Japanese government has been paying rent to the landowners so that the U.S. military can continue to use the property.

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