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Arguably, the most important and defining feature of the JPEG2000 image compression standard is its R-D optimized code stream of multiple progressive layers. This code stream is an interleaving of many scalable code streams of different sample blocks. In this paper, we reexamine the R-D optimality of JPEG2000 scalable code streams under an expected multirate distortion measure (EMRD), which is defined to be the average distortion weighted by a probability distribution of operational rates in a given range, rather than for one or few fixed rates. We prove that the JPEG2000 code stream constructed by embedded block coding of optimal truncation is almost optimal in the EMRD sense for uniform rate distribution function, even if the individual scalable code streams have nonconvex operational R-D curves. We also develop algorithms to optimize the JPEG2000 code stream for exponential and Laplacian rate distribution functions while maintaining compatibility with the JPEG2000 standard. Both of our analytical and experimental results lend strong support to JPEG2000 as a near-optimal scalable image codec in a fairly general setting.