01 August 2017

News Story: Small portion of US air base in Okinawa returned

NAHA, Japan (Kyodo) -- The United States on Monday returned to Japan a small portion of land within the U.S. Futenma air base in Okinawa Prefecture.

The return of around a 4-hectare strip of the 481-hectare base is apparently aimed at showing locals the central government is working to reduce the southern island prefecture's burden of hosting the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan.

Japan and the United States have agreed to return all the land used for the Futenma base, though prospects are uncertain as the prefectural government is firmly opposed to the plan to relocate the base elsewhere in Okinawa.

The two countries announced in December 2015 some land at the key U.S. base would be returned as part of efforts to ease the island prefecture's burden of hosting U.S. military installations.

Read the full story at The Mainichi