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Japan marks first sovereignty recovery day


08:52, April 29, 2013

TOKYO, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government on Sunday for first time commemorated the day that the country ended the U.S. occupation and recovered its sovereignty in 1952 after its defeat in the World War II.

The government held a ceremony, in which the Japanese Imperial Couple, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as about 390 lawmakers, prefectural governors and government officials participated.

On April 28, 1952, Japan recovered its sovereignty, except Okinawa Prefecture, as the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect, putting an end to a seven-year occupation by the U.S.-led forces.

Okinawa, Japan's southernmost island prefecture that was returned by the United States in 1972, consider April 28 as "day of insult" and oppose the central government's sovereignty recovery ceremony.

The prefecture's governor Hirokazu Nakaima skipped the ceremony and local assembly members also staged protests in the city of Ginowan in the prefecture, according to reports.

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