The US military this month will return to Japan’s government more than 9,800 acres of land it has held since World War II, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Tuesday.
The 9,852 acres of land on the island of Okinawa, part of a territory officially referred to as the Northern Training Area, is in a large US military base complex on the Pacific island more than 960 miles (1,550 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo.
The US had turned most of Okinawa over to Japan in 1972 after controlling it from the end of World War II in 1945.
This is the largest return of US-occupied land since then.
To facilitate the return, the Japanese government agreed to build six helicopter landing zones as well as some access roads to allow US troops to train in the area, a senior US defense official told CNN.