When Tokyo won the bid last Sept. 7 to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, it was a mixed blessing to people in Okinawa, especially seniors.

On the same day 50 years earlier, the Olympic torch arrived in Okinawa ahead of the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games. Although the prefecture was still under U.S. administration, the flame's arrival was regarded as its arrival in Japan.

Okinawa had been the site of fierce battles in the closing days of World War II, resulting in more than 200,000 military and civilian Japanese and American casualties combined, and the subsequent torch relay became a symbol of peace.