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Left: Okinawans hold Japanese flags as they cross Kokusai Dori, "International Street," in Naha on May 15, 1972. Right: The same street in 2022. (Photo by Nikkei)
Society

In pictures: Okinawa's return to Japan, 50 years later

Relocation of American air base remains hot-button issue for southern island prefecture

Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO -- After decades under U.S. government administration, Okinawa formally reverted to Japanese control on May 15, 1972.

The lush islands have since become a popular retreat for Japanese and foreign tourists alike. The city of Nago hosted the Group of Eight summit in 2000, bringing an American president to Okinawa for the first time since the handover.

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