Japan’s Okinawa marks half century since U.S. handover as regional tensions grow

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TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese island chain of Okinawa marked the 50th anniversary on Sunday of the end of U.S. occupation and its return to Japan with ceremonies and celebrations amid growing worry about their proximity to an increasingly assertive China. Okinawa, a string of tropical islands off far southwest Japan much closer to Taiwan than Tokyo, suffered massive devastation in World War Two. Two months of bloody battles between U.S. and Japanese forces left as many as a third of its people dead. Nearly 30 years of U.S. rule followed. On May 15, 1972, the islands were finally returned to J…

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