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Nearly a half century after the 1972 return of Okinawa to Japan, an 84-year-old former teacher is continuing to demonstrate against U.S. military presence in the southernmost Japan prefecture, spurred on by his memories of a girl killed in a U.S. fighter crash.

Norio Iha witnessed firsthand the aftermath of a U.S. fighter jet crashing into Miyamori Elementary School in an Okinawa city — now called Uruma — on June 30, 1959, when Okinawa was under U.S. occupation. The incident killed 18 people, including 12 children.

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