- lie ～
- screw pine
- indigenous species
- 固有種（species は〈生物の〉種、後出 unique to ～と写真説明の indigenous to ～は～に固有の）
- state of normalcy
- (be) forcibly evacuated
- (be) barred
- look to ～
- Natural World Heritage
- red-headed wood pigeon
- edge of extinction
- 絶滅の危機（後出 endangered は絶滅の危機に瀕(ひん)した）
- wild descendant of ～
- （ ここでは）野生化した～の子孫（descendant は子孫）
- Environment Ministry
- 環境省（後出 local ministry bureau は同現地事務所）
About 1,000 kilometers south and a 24-hour ferry ride from central Tokyo lies Chichijima, one of the Ogasawara islands. On one recent day, children could be heard laughing and calling out to their mothers, "Look! I made it up!" as they scaled the screw pines － an indigenous species of Ogasawara － in a park.
Energetic children hanging from tree branches may be an everyday sight, but the people of the islands have come a long way to reach this happy state of normalcy.
June 26 is the 50th anniversary of the Ogasawara islands' return to Japan from United States control. Near the end of World War II, everyone on the islands was forcibly evacuated to the Japanese mainland, and barred from returning until 1968, when the U.S. occupation ended. Fewer than 300 people came back to revive the village. Now there is a total of about 2,600 residents on Chichijima and nearby Hahajima combined, and islanders are looking to the next generation － those children in the trees － to keep the community strong.
There are many animal and plant species unique to Ogasawara, which helped the islands earn UNESCO Natural World Heritage recognition in 2011. One such species is the red-headed wood pigeon. It was brought to the edge of extinction by the wild descendants of pet cats, and given the highest risk classification on the Environment Ministry's Red List of endangered species. Conservation efforts have increased the population to about 600 birds from dozens. However, the local ministry bureau says that "the number of cats is also increasing again, so it's one step forward, one step back," thus efforts continue to protect the island's "phantom bird."
[本文 - 275 words]