US returns small strip of land at Futenma air base

The United States has returned a small part of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Japan.

The handover of the roughly 4-hectare strip of land from the 481-hectare base on Monday is apparently aimed at showing residents that central government is making progress in reducing the US military's footprint in Okinawa. Japan and the US have agreed to return all of the land used by the base, but the prospects remain bleak because many residents oppose the long-delayed plan to move the base from crowded Ginowan to less populated Henoko, a coastal area in Nago.

A bilateral accord for returning the base land at Futenma was struck in 1996. In 2013, they agreed to return the land in fiscal 2022 or later.

Source: VOV5