March 29, 1996
Web posted at: 2:15 p.m. EST
Okinawa landowners leery of renewing leases with U.S.
(CNN) -- U.S. government officials seeking to extend the lease on a military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa faced a new hurdle in their effort Friday when local landowners said they would refuse to renew their leases with the military.
On Friday, Japanese defense officials signed papers which would force 35 landowners on the island to sign the new leases, but the group has so far refused. Most are still angered by the rape of an Okinawa schoolgirl by U.S. servicemen last year.
The land leases are due to expire this Sunday.
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