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Okinawa and central government officials began working-level talks Thursday under a court-mediated settlement deal that calls for both sides to find a solution to the long-stalled issue of relocating U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

But while the discussions, which take place nearly 20 years to the day after the U.S. and Japan reached an agreement to return Futenma, are taking place with the agreement of both sides, Okinawa and Tokyo remain far apart on the basic issue of whether to relocate Futenma to Henoko in northern Okinawa or outside the prefecture entirely.

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