The Amami Islands, now part of Kagoshima Prefecture, marked the 70th anniversary of their return to Japanese administration on Monday, at a time when the number of U.S. citizens who were living on the Amamis before their reversion is decreasing.

Tracing her early childhood on Amami Oshima under U.S. occupation through photographs and letters left by her deceased parents, Nancy Mills, a 74-year-old New Yorker, wishes for Amami residents' happiness.

With a laugh, Mills admits her memories of the days she spent on the island have become hazy.