Lower house resolution urges govt to realize reduction, return of U.S. bases in Okinawa

The House of Representatives special committee on Okinawa and the northern problems passed a resolution on Thursday calling on the government to promptly bring about a reduction of U.S. military bases and the return of the land they occupy, and also to improve the lives of those living in Okinawa Prefecture. The resolution comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of Okinawa’s return to Japan on May 15. It was passed with support from both the ruling and opposition parties, with the exception of the Japanese Communist Party. The JCP opposed the resolution on the grounds that it did not call for revising the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

The resolution urged the government to endeavor to realize the consolidation of U.S. military bases while speedily downsizing them. It also called for measures to solve such issues as low labor productivity in the prefecture, and the reconstruction of Naha’s Shuri Castle, which was largely destroyed in a fire in 2019.