- historical event: During World War II the Americans took the wrestled the Island of Okinawa from the Japanese with huge losses on both sides. Until 1969, the U.S. kept some 50,000 soldiers stationed in bases across the island.
On this day in 1969, talks about returning the island of Okinawa to Japan were concluded. Namely, after World War II, Okinawa became part of U.S. territory. The Battle of Okinawa was one of the most famous battles of World War II, when the U.S. took the island from the Japanese with huge losses on both sides.
Until 1969, the U.S. kept some 50,000 soldiers stationed in bases across the island. Due to its great strategic importance, Okinawa was sometimes called “The Keystone of the Pacific”. Let us mention that Okinawa is also the birthplace of karate, and this is one of the reason that form of martial arts later became popular in the USA.
It is less known that the Americans also brought their nuclear bombs to Okinawa, perhaps as many as 1,000 warheads. According to the agreement concluded on this day, the U.S. was allowed to keep bases on Okinawa, but was obliged to remove its nuclear weapons from them.
Although Okinawa is now once again part of Japan, the U.S. still has its bases there. Tens of thousands of U.S. troops are stationed there.