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Okinawa Peace March Held to Mark 52nd Anniv. of Return to Japan

Okinawa Peace March Held to Mark 52nd Anniv. of Return to Japan

   Ginowan, Okinawa Pref., May 18 (Jiji Press)--A peace march was held in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, on Saturday, to mark the 52nd anniversary of its return to Japan from post-World War II U.S. occupation.
   The procession was to call attention to the fact that Okinawa continues to host the bulk of U.S. bases in Japan. Divided in two courses of about 7 kilometers each, participants marched around the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in the city of Ginowan, calling for the return of the site for the base and a review of the Japan-U.S. status-of-forces agreement.
   According to the organizers, more than 2,000 people joined the event. Okinawa returned to Japanese administration on May 15, 1972.
   At a departing ceremony, Kunihiro Kimoto, co-head of Okinawa Peace Action Center, one of the entities that hosted the march, expressed concern that the Japanese government is working on defense buildup in Okinawa. "I believe we will be able to counter the move if we unite and raise a voice," he said.
   A 27-year-old female public worker from Tokyo said: "I was overwhelmed by the size of the (Futenma) base and felt the hardship of Okinawa people. I hope their burden will be eliminated."

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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