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Many of the medals created to mark Okinawa Prefecture’s 1972 return to Japan were not distributed to children as planned, reflecting the mixed feelings of local residents.

In April 1972, the government minted some 200,000 bronze medals with drawings of the country’s national flag and the Shureimon gate of Shuri Castle, a major tourist spot in Okinawa Prefecture. The message on the medals reads, “Congratulations on the return to the homeland.”

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