U.S will withdraw 9,000 troops from Okinawa Island

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Japan announced Thursday an agreement be reached to reduce the U.S. military presence on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

A total of 9,000 soldiers of the Marine Corps stationed on the island, which was occupied by the United States from 1945 to 1972, will be redeployed to the U.S. island of Guam and other Pacific locations.

Some 47,000 U.S. troops are present on Japanese soil under a bilateral security treaty signed in 1960, but the American presence is a source of tension, especially since the rape of an Okinawan schoolgirl by American soldiers in 1995.

The agreement on reducing the U.S. contingent, discussed for years, was concluded a few days a meeting between President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Washington.

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