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TOKYO - The U.S. Army has agreed that about an acre of the Army?s Akasaka Press Center complex in Tokyo will be returned to Japanese control, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has announced.

Army officials were not immediately available Saturday for comment.

The Friday announcement named no date for the return. Kyodo News reported Friday that the U.S.-Japan Joint Committee must agree to the transfer before the return is final but that Tokyo seeks to complete the transfer this year.

The acre, on the northeast side of the complex?s helicopter pad, formerly housed a small Navy exchange demolished in December.

The land is to be returned in exchange for a similar plot given the Army in 1983. Tokyo plans to use the acre as a park, it stated in a news release. It also stated that it and the Army have agreed to joint emergency use of the helicopter pad.

The press center complex houses Stars and Stripes newspaper?s Tokyo office, other government offices, the Hardy Barracks Army recreational lodging and the Navy exchange, which was relocated to elsewhere in the complex.


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