A ranking U.S. official based in Okinawa made clear in 1967 that the United States did not need the island prefecture to defend Japan but rather for the security of Northeast Asia, according to Japanese diplomatic records declassified Tuesday.
The remark, made just before the government of Prime Minister Eisaku Sato launched full-fledged negotiations with the United States for Okinawa’s reversion, suggests the U.S. side was focused on Okinawa’s geopolitical importance.
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