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Protesters Outside G-8 Summit Target U.S. Troops in Okinawa

Aired July 21, 2000 - 1:07 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: The Camp David talks were talked about at the G-8 summit in Japan today. The economic club saluted both sides' attempts to reach a final agreement and made tentative plans to help pay for it. Aides say President Clinton may leave the summit a little bit early if he's needed back in Maryland.

Protesters outside the meeting site wish Mr. Clinton would take a few thousand U.S. troops home with him. For a second day, protesters targeted the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, an island where Japanese and Americans share a long and bloody history.

Here's CNN's Kelly Wallace.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shigeru Miyagi was 12 when the Battle of Okinawa began in 1945. The fighting lasted more than 80 days, killing more than 100,000 Japanese and 10,000 American soldiers, and one-third of the island's population. Mr. Miyagi was shot in the face and the arm.

SHIGERU MIYAGI: There is a saying in Japanese: Yesterday's enemy is today's friend -- something like that, yes. So we've got to forget about, you know, the past. Most important is our future.

WALLACE: Mr. Miyagi came to see the first U.S. leader to visit the island in 40 years. President Bill Clinton toured a memorial inscribed with names of those killed in that World War II battle.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... to remember those who lost their lives here, to honor what must have been their last wish: that no future generation ever be forced to share their experience or repeat their sacrifice.

WALLACE (on camera): But the president's speech was also designed to diffuse tensions about the U.S. military presence on the island following two recent incidents involving U.S. servicemen. In one, a U.S. Marine stands accused of fondling a teenage girl.

KOZUE KINJO (through translator): We have seen an incident of rape a couple of years ago. We had another such incident recently as well. We want U.S. forces to educate their soldiers properly and have a good order in the base. Otherwise, we always have to worry about our safety. WALLACE (voice-over): As world leaders gathered for the annual economic summit, protesters took to the streets calling for U.S. troops to leave. More than 50 percent of the U.S. forces stationed in Japan are based here. But in a gesture to Okinawans, Mr. Clinton said the U.S. would look to minimize its military presence.

CLINTON: We will continue to do what we can to reduce our footprint on this island.

WALLACE: Mr. Miyagi and his friends, who were also wounded in the battle of Okinawa, support the U.S. troops, although they all think it is time to scale back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): U.S. bases are better not to be here for the peace of Okinawa.

WALLACE: Kelly Wallace, CNN, Okinawa, Japan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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