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is a
prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...

prefecture
of
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japan is a part of the , and spans of coveri ...

Japan
located on the
Ryukyu Islands The , also known as the or the , are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Geography of Taiwan, Taiwan: the Ōsumi Islands, Ōsumi, Tokara Islands, Tokara, Amami Islands, Amami, Okinawa Islands, Okinawa, and Sakish ...

Ryukyu Islands
. Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost and westernmost prefecture of Japan, has a population of 1,457,162 (2 February 2020) and has a geographic area of 2,281 km2 (880
sq mi The mile (abbreviated as sq mi and sometimes as mi2)Rowlett, Russ (September 1, 2004) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC, UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Chapel Hill, or simpl ...
).
Naha is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a country, Constituent state, state, province, Department (country subdivision), department, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of th ...

Naha
is the capital and largest city of Okinawa Prefecture, with other major cities including
Okinawa is a prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Th ...
,
Uruma is a Cities of Japan, city located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The modern city of Uruma was established on April 1, 2005, when the cities of Gushikawa, Okinawa, Gushikawa and Ishikawa, Okinawa, Ishikawa were merged with the towns of Katsuren, O ...
, and
Urasoe is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be d ...
. Okinawa Prefecture encompasses two thirds of the Ryukyu Islands, including the
Okinawa is a prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Th ...

Okinawa
, Daitō and
Sakishima
Sakishima
groups, extending southwest from the
Satsunan Islands The is a geopolitical name for a group of islands that forms the northern part of the Ryukyu Islands The , also known as the or the , are a chain of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag ...

Satsunan Islands
of
Kagoshima Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat ...
to
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
( Hualien and Yilan Counties). Okinawa Prefecture's largest island,
Okinawa Island is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu Islands, Ryukyu (''Nansei'') Islands of Japan in the Kyushu region. It is the smallest and least populated of the five Japanese archipelago, main islands of Japan. The island is approximately ...

Okinawa Island
, is the home to a majority of Okinawa's population. Okinawa Prefecture's
indigenous ethnic group
indigenous ethnic group
are the
Ryukyuan people The , also Lewchewan or Loochooan, are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group native to the Ryukyu Islands, which stretch between the islands of Kyushu and Geography of Taiwan, Taiwan. Administratively, they live in either the Okinawa Pref ...
, who also live in the
Amami Islands The The name ''Amami-guntō'' was standardized on February 15, 2010. Prior to that, another name, ''Amami shotō'' (奄美諸島), was also used. is an archipelago in the Satsunan Islands, which is part of the Ryukyu Islands, and is southwest of ...

Amami Islands
of Kagoshima Prefecture. Okinawa Prefecture was ruled by the
Ryukyu Kingdom The Ryukyu Kingdom, Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of Chinese language, Chinese recorded in the ''Qieyun'', a rime dictionary first published in 601 and fo ...
from 1429 and unofficially
annexed upCivilians and coalition military forces wave Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian flags as they celebrate the reversal of the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq (28 February 1991). Annexation (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging ...
by Japan after the
Invasion of Ryukyu The by forces of the Japanese han (country subdivision), feudal domain of Satsuma Domain, Satsuma took place from March to May of 1609, and marked the beginning of the Ryukyu Kingdom's status as a vassal state under the Satsuma domain. The inva ...
in 1609. Okinawa Prefecture was officially founded in 1879 by the
Empire of Japan The was a historical and that existed from the in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II and subsequent formation of modern . It encompassed the and several , s, , and other . Under the slogans of and Japan underwent ...

Empire of Japan
after seven years as the
Ryukyu Domain The was a short-lived han (administrative division), domain of the Empire of Japan, lasting from 1872 to 1879, before becoming the current Okinawa Prefecture and other islands at the Pacific edge of the East China Sea. When the domain was create ...
, the last domain of the
Han system ( ja, 藩, "domain") is a Japanese historical term for the Estate (land), estate of a daimyo in the Edo period (1603–1868) and early Meiji period (1868–1912).Louis Frédéric, Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005)"Han"in ''Japan Encyclopedia'', ...
. Okinawa Prefecture was occupied by the
United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States of America
during the
Allied occupation of Japan The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the va ...
after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
, and governed by the Military Government of the Ryukyu Islands from 1945 to 1950 and Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands from 1950 until the prefecture was returned to Japan in 1972. Okinawa Prefecture comprises just 0.6 percent of Japan's total land mass but about 26,000 (75%) of
United States Forces Japan is a subordinate unified command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM). It was activated at Fuchū Air Station in Tokyo Tokyo ( , ; Japanese language, Japanese: 東京, ''Tōkyō'' ), officially the Tokyo Metropolis ...

United States Forces Japan
personnel are assigned to the prefecture; the continued U.S. military presence in Okinawa is controversial.


History

The oldest evidence of human existence on the Ryukyu islands is from the
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
and was discovered in
Naha is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a country, Constituent state, state, province, Department (country subdivision), department, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of th ...
and Yaeyama. Some human bone fragments from the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek wikt:παλαιός, palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of ...
era were unearthed from a site in Naha, but the artifact was lost in transportation before it was examined to be Paleolithic or not. Japanese Jōmon influences are dominant on the
Okinawa Islands The are an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), sometimes know ...

Okinawa Islands
, although clay vessels on the
Sakishima Islands The (or 先島群島, ''Sakishima-guntō'') ( Okinawan: ''Sachishima'', Miyako: ''Saksїzїma'', Yaeyama: ''Sakїzїma'', Yonaguni: ''Satichima'') are an archipelago located at the southernmost end of the Japanese Archipelago. They are part ...

Sakishima Islands
have a commonality with those in
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
. The first mention of the word ''Ryukyu'' was written in the ''
Book of Sui The ''Book of Sui'' (''Suí Shū'') is the official history of the Sui dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties The Northe ...
''. ''Okinawa'' was the Japanese word identifying the islands, first seen in the biography of
Jianzhen Jianzhen (; 688–763), or Ganjin in Japanese, was a Chinese monk who helped to propagate Buddhism in Japan. In the eleven years from 743 to 754, Jianzhen attempted to visit Japan some six times. Ganjin finally came to Japan in the year 753 and fo ...

Jianzhen
, written in 779. Agricultural societies begun in the 8th century slowly developed until the 12th century. Since the islands are located at the eastern perimeter of the
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . Its northern extension between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula Korea is a regi ...

East China Sea
relatively close to Japan, China and South-East Asia, the
Ryukyu Kingdom The Ryukyu Kingdom, Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of Chinese language, Chinese recorded in the ''Qieyun'', a rime dictionary first published in 601 and fo ...
became a prosperous trading nation. Also during this period, many
Gusuku often refers to castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinb ...
s, similar to castles, were constructed. The Ryukyu Kingdom entered into the
Imperial Chinese tributary system The tributary system of China (), or Cefeng system () was a network of loose international relations focused on China which facilitated trade and foreign relations by acknowledging China's predominant role in East Asia. It involved multiple relation ...
under the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; ) are an East Asian ethnic group nativ ...

Ming dynasty
beginning in the 15th century, which established economic relations between the two nations. In 1609, the
Shimazu clan The were the ''daimyō'' of the Satsuma Domain, Satsuma Han (administrative division), han, which spread over Satsuma Province, Satsuma, Ōsumi Province, Ōsumi and Hyūga Province, Hyūga provinces in Japan. The Shimazu were identified as one of ...
, which controlled the region that is now
Kagoshima Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat ...
, invaded the Ryukyu Kingdom. The Ryukyu Kingdom was obliged to agree to form a suzerain-vassal relationship with the Satsuma and the
Tokugawa shogunate The Tokugawa shogunate (, Japanese 徳川幕府 ''Tokugawa bakufu''), also known as the , was the military government {{Systems of government Military dictatorships A military government is generally any government A government is th ...

Tokugawa shogunate
, while maintaining its previous role within the Chinese tributary system; Ryukyuan sovereignty was maintained since complete annexation would have created a conflict with China. The Satsuma clan earned considerable profits from trade with China during a period in which foreign trade was heavily restricted by the shogunate. Although Satsuma maintained strong influence over the islands, the Ryukyu Kingdom maintained a considerable degree of domestic political freedom for over two hundred years. Four years after the 1868
Meiji Restoration#REDIRECT Meiji Restoration The , referred to at the time as the , and also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was a political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. Although t ...
, the Japanese government, through military incursions, officially annexed the kingdom and renamed it Ryukyu
han Han may refer to: Ethnic groups * Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on ...
. At the time, the Qing Empire asserted a nominal suzerainty over the islands of the Ryukyu Kingdom, since the Ryūkyū Kingdom was also a member state of the Chinese tributary system. Ryukyu han became Okinawa Prefecture of Japan in 1879, even though all other hans had become prefectures of Japan in 1872. In 1912, Okinawans first obtained the right to vote for representatives to the which had been established in 1890.


1945–1965

Near the end of World War II, in 1945, the
US Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture ...

US Army
and
Marine Corps Marines or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate on Littoral Zone, littoral zone in support of naval operations. At the beginning of its formation, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline ...
invaded Okinawa with 185,000 troops. A third of Okinawa's civilian population died; a quarter of the civilian population died during the 1945
Battle of Okinawa The , codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa Island, Okinawa by United States Army and United States Marine Corps (USMC) forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. The initial invasion ...

Battle of Okinawa
alone. The dead, of all nationalities, are commemorated at the
Cornerstone of Peace The Cornerstone of Peace is a monument in Itoman commemorating the Battle of Okinawa The , codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa Island, Okinawa by United States Army and United State ...

Cornerstone of Peace
. After the end of World War II, the United States set up the United States Military Government of the Ryukyu Islands administration, which ruled Okinawa for 27 years. During this "trusteeship rule", the United States established numerous military bases on the Ryukyu islands. The
Ryukyu independence movement The or Republic of the Ryukyus (Japanese: , Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanese ...
was an Okinawan movement that clamored against U.S. rule.


Continued U.S. military buildup

During the
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea North Korea (Korean language, Korean: /, McCune–Reischauer, MR: ''Chosŏn''; literally /, McCune–Reischauer, MR: ''Pukchosŏn'', or /, Revised Romanization ...

Korean War
,
B-29 Superfortress The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is an American four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber Heavy bombers are bomber Fixed-wing aircraft, aircraft capable of delivering the largest payload of air-to-ground weaponry (usually Aerial bomb, bombs) ...

B-29 Superfortress
es flew bombing missions over
Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at or near the 38th parallel north, 38th parallel, North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (the Republic of Korea). Korea co ...

Korea
from
Kadena Air Base ( IATA: DNA, International Civil Aviation Organization airport code, ICAO: RODN) is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena, Okinawa, Kadena and Chatan, Okinawa, Chatan and the city of Okinawa, Okinawa, Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefectu ...

Kadena Air Base
on Okinawa. The military buildup on the island during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
increased a division between local inhabitants and the American military. Under the 1952
Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan#REDIRECT Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the United States and Japan {{R from move ...
, United States (USFJ) have maintained a large military presence. During the mid-1950s, the U.S. seized land from Okinawans to build new bases or expand currently-existing ones. According to the Melvin Price Report, by 1955, the military had displaced 250,000 residents.


Secret U.S. deployment of nuclear weapons

Since 1960, the U.S. and Japan have maintained an agreement that allows the U.S. to secretly bring nuclear weapons into Japanese ports. The Japanese people tended to oppose the introduction of nuclear arms into Japanese territory and the Japanese government's assertion of Japan's non-nuclear policy and a statement of the Three Non-Nuclear Principles reflected this popular opposition. Most of the weapons were alleged to be stored in ammunition bunkers at
Kadena Air Base ( IATA: DNA, International Civil Aviation Organization airport code, ICAO: RODN) is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena, Okinawa, Kadena and Chatan, Okinawa, Chatan and the city of Okinawa, Okinawa, Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefectu ...

Kadena Air Base
. Between 1954 and 1972, 19 different types of nuclear weapons were deployed in Okinawa, but with fewer than around 1,000 warheads at any one time. In Fall 1960, U.S. commandos in
Green Light TeamsGreen Light Teams were Special Forces (United States Army), Special Forces units during the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. These Green Light Teams, also referred to as Atomic Demolition Munitions Specialists, were trained to advance, ...
secret training missions carried actual small nuclear weapons on the east coast of Okinawa Island.


1965–1972 (Vietnam War)

Between 1965 and 1972, Okinawa was a key staging point for United States in its military operations directed towards
North Vietnam North Vietnam, officially the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) ( vi, Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cộng Hòa) was a state in Southeast Asia from 1945 to 1954 and a country from 1954 to 1976. During the August Revolution following World War I ...

North Vietnam
. Along with
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
, it presented a geographically strategic launch pad for covert bombing missions over
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
and
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often re ...

Laos
. Anti-Vietnam War sentiment became linked politically to the movement for reversion of Okinawa to Japan. In 1965, the US military bases, earlier viewed as paternal post war protection, were increasingly seen as aggressive. The Vietnam War highlighted the differences between United States and Okinawa, but showed a commonality between the islands and mainland Japan. As controversy grew regarding the alleged placement of
nuclear weapons A nuclear weapon (also known as an atom bomb, atomic bomb, nuclear bomb or nuclear warhead, and colloquially as an A-bomb or nuke) is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reaction In nuclear physics and nucl ...

nuclear weapons
on Okinawa, fears intensified over the escalation of the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars and the Cold War , image = VNWarMontage.png , image_size = 300px , caption = Clockwise, from top left: U.S. ...
. Okinawa was then perceived, by some inside Japan, as a potential target for China, should the communist government feel threatened by United States. American military secrecy blocked any local reporting on what was actually occurring at bases such as
Kadena Air Base ( IATA: DNA, International Civil Aviation Organization airport code, ICAO: RODN) is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena, Okinawa, Kadena and Chatan, Okinawa, Chatan and the city of Okinawa, Okinawa, Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefectu ...

Kadena Air Base
. As information leaked out, and images of air strikes were published, the local population began to fear the potential for retaliation. Political leaders such as Oda Makoto, a major figure in the
BeheirenBeheiren (ベ平連, short for ベトナムに平和を!市民連合, ''Betonamu ni Heiwa o! Shimin Rengo'', "The Citizen's League for Peace in Vietnam") was a Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag ...
movement (Foundation of Citizens for Peace in Vietnam), believed, that the return of Okinawa to Japan would lead to the removal of U.S. forces ending Japan's involvement in Vietnam.Havens, T. R. H. (1987) Fire Across the Sea: The Vietnam War and Japan, 1965–1975. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Pg 120 In a speech delivered in 1967 Oda was critical of Prime Minister Sato's unilateral support of America's War in Vietnam claiming "Realistically we are all guilty of complicity in the Vietnam War". The Beheiren became a more visible anti-war movement on Okinawa as the American involvement in Vietnam intensified. The movement employed tactics ranging from demonstrations, to handing leaflets to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines directly, warning of the implications for a third World War. The US military bases on Okinawa became a focal point for
anti-Vietnam War Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War{{native name, vi, Chiến tranh Việt Nam , partof = the Indochina Wars and the Cold War , image ...
sentiment. By 1969, over 50,000 American military personnel were stationed on Okinawa. United States
Department of DefenseDepartment of Defence or Department of Defense may refer to: Current departments of defence * Department of Defence (Australia) The Department of Defence (DoD) is a Government department, department of the Government of Australia charged with ...
began referring to Okinawa as the "Keystone of the Pacific". This slogan was imprinted on local U.S. military license plates. In 1969, chemical weapons leaked from the US storage depot at Chibana in central Okinawa, under Operation Red Hat. Evacuations of residents took place over a wide area for two months. Even two years later, government investigators found that Okinawans and the environment near the leak were still suffering because of the depot. In 1972, the U.S. government handed over the islands to Japanese administration.


1973–2006

In a 1981 interview with the ''
Mainichi Shimbun The is one of the major newspapers in Japan, published by In addition to the ''Mainichi Shimbun'', which is printed twice a day in several local editions, Mainichi also operates an English language news website called ''The Mainichi'' (previ ...
'', Edwin O. Reischauer, former U.S. ambassador to Japan, said that U.S. naval ships armed with nuclear weapons stopped at Japanese ports on a routine duty, and this was approved by the Japanese government. The 1995 rape of a 12-year-old girl by U.S. servicemen triggered large protests in Okinawa. Reports by the local media of accidents and crimes committed by U.S. servicemen have reduced the local population's support for the U.S. military bases. A strong emotional response has emerged from certain incidents. As a result, the media has drawn renewed interest in the
Ryukyu independence movement The or Republic of the Ryukyus (Japanese: , Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanese ...
. Documents declassified in 1997 proved that both tactical and strategic weapons have been maintained in Okinawa. In 1999 and 2002, the ''Japan Times'' and the ''Okinawa Times'' reported speculation that not all weapons were removed from Okinawa. On October 25, 2005, after a decade of negotiations, the governments of the US and Japan officially agreed to move
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for co ...
from its location in the densely populated city of
Ginowan ( ryu, じのーん, translit=Jinōn) is a Cities of Japan, city located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. As of 2012, the city has an estimated population of 94,405, with 40,041 households and a population density of 4,838.8 persons per km². The t ...
to the more northerly and remote
Camp Schwab Camp Schwab is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsi ...
in
Nago ''Nagu'', Kunigami language, Kunigami: ''Naguu'' is a Cities of Japan, city located in the northern part of Okinawa Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. As of December 2012, the city has an estimated population of 61,659 and a population densit ...
by building a heliport with a shorter runway, partly on Camp Schwab land and partly running into the sea. The move is partly an attempt to relieve tensions between the people of Okinawa and the Marine Corps. Okinawa prefecture constitutes 0.6 percent of Japan's land surface, yet , 75 percent of all USFJ bases were located on Okinawa, and U.S. military bases occupied 18 percent of the main island.沖縄に所在する在日米軍施設・区域
, Japan Ministry of Defense


2007–present

According to a 2007 ''Okinawa Times'' poll, 85 percent of Okinawans opposed the presence of the U.S. military, because of
noise pollution Noise pollution, also known as or sound , is the propagation of noise with ranging impacts on the activity of human or animal life, most of them harmful to a degree. The source of outdoor noise worldwide is mainly caused by machines, transport, ...
from military drills, the risk of aircraft accidents,
environmental degradation Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological facto ...
, and crowding from the number of personnel there, although 73.4 percent of Japanese citizens appreciated the mutual security treaty with the U.S. and the presence of the USFJ. In another poll conducted by the ''
Asahi Shimbun is one of the four largest newspapers in Japan. Founded in 1879, it is also one of the oldest newspapers in Japan and Asia. Its circulation, which was 5.16 million for its morning edition and 1.55 million for its evening edition as of June 20 ...
'' in May 2010, 43 percent of the Okinawan population wanted the complete closure of the U.S. bases, 42 percent wanted reduction and 11 percent wanted the maintenance of the status quo. Okinawan feelings about the U.S. military are complex, and some of the resentment towards the U.S. bases is directed towards the government in
Tokyo Tokyo (Japanese language, Japanese: , ''Tōkyō'' ), historically known in the west as Tokio and officially the Tokyo Metropolis (, ''Tōkyō-to''), is capital of Japan, the capital and most populous Prefectures of Japan, prefecture of Japan ...

Tokyo
, perceived as being insensitive to Okinawan needs and using Okinawa to house bases not desired elsewhere in Japan. In early 2008, U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice Condoleezza "Condi" Rice ( ; born November 14, 1954) is an American diplomat, political scientist Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance Governance comprises all of ...

Condoleezza Rice
apologized after a series of crimes involving American troops in Japan, including the rape of a young girl of 14 by a Marine on Okinawa. The U.S. military also imposed a temporary 24-hour curfew on military personnel and their families to ease the anger of local residents. Some cited statistics that the crime rate of military personnel is consistently less than that of the general Okinawan population. However, some criticized the statistics as unreliable, since violence against women is under-reported. Between 1972 and 2009, U.S. servicemen committed 5,634 criminal offenses, including 25 murders, 385 burglaries, 25 arsons, 127 rapes, 306 assaults and 2,827 thefts. Yet, per
Marine Corps Installations Pacific Marine Corps Installations Pacific (MCIPAC) is the single, regional authority for accountability of regional installation management resources and services within the Pacific area of operations. MCIPAC was established to increase regional installa ...
data, U.S. service members are convicted of far fewer crimes than local Okinawans. In 2009, a new Japanese government came to power and froze the US forces relocation plan, but in April 2010 indicated their interest in resolving the issue by proposing a modified plan. A study done in 2010 found that the prolonged exposure to aircraft noise around the
Kadena Air Base ( IATA: DNA, International Civil Aviation Organization airport code, ICAO: RODN) is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena, Okinawa, Kadena and Chatan, Okinawa, Chatan and the city of Okinawa, Okinawa, Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefectu ...

Kadena Air Base
and other military bases cause health issues such as a disrupted sleep pattern, high blood pressure, weakening of the immune system in children, and a loss of hearing. In 2011, it was reported that the U.S. military—contrary to repeated denials by
the Pentagon The Pentagon is the headquarters Headquarters (commonly referred to as HQ) denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States The United States of America ...
—had kept tens of thousands of barrels of
Agent Orange Agent Orange is a and chemical, one of the "tactical use" . It is widely known for its use by the as part of its program, , during the from 1961 to 1971. It is a mixture of equal parts of two s, and . In addition to its damaging environm ...

Agent Orange
on the island. The Japanese and American governments have angered some U.S. veterans, who believe they were poisoned by Agent Orange while serving on the island, by characterizing their statements regarding Agent Orange as "dubious", and ignoring their requests for compensation. Reports that more than a third of the barrels developed leaks have led Okinawans to ask for environmental investigations, but both Tokyo and Washington refused such action. has reported concern that the U.S. used American Marines as chemical-agent guinea pigs. On September 30, 2018,
Denny Tamaki is a Japanese politician and the current Governor of Okinawa Prefecture since August 2018. Tamaki was a member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly for Okinawa (city), Okinawa City from 2002 to 2005 and became the first Amerasian member of the ...
was elected as the next governor of Okinawa prefecture, after a campaign focused on sharply reducing the U.S. military presence on the island.


Marine Corps Air Station Futenma relocation, 2006–present

, one ongoing issue is the relocation of
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for co ...
. First promised to be moved off the island and then later within the island, the future of any relocation is uncertain with the election of base-opponent Onaga as Okinawa governor. Onaga won against the incumbent Nakaima who had earlier approved landfill work to move the base to
Camp Schwab Camp Schwab is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsi ...
in Henoko. However, Onaga has promised to veto the landfill work needed for the new base to be built and insisted Futenma should be moved outside of Okinawa. , some 8,000 U.S. Marines were removed from the island and relocated to
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
. In November 2008, U.S. Pacific Command Commander Admiral Timothy Keating stated the move to Guam would probably not be completed before 2015. In 2009, Japan's former foreign minister
Katsuya Okada is a Japanese politician who was Deputy Prime Minister of Japan from January to December 2012. A member of the House of Representatives of Japan, he was the President of the Democratic Party (Japan, 2016), Democratic Party, and previously of the ...

Katsuya Okada
stated that he wanted to review the deployment of U.S. troops in Japan to ease the burden on the people of Okinawa (Associated Press, October 7, 2009) 5,000 of 9,000 Marines will be deployed at Guam and the rest will be deployed at Hawaii and Australia. Japan will pay $3.1 billion cash for the moving and for developing joint training ranges on Guam and on Tinian and Pagan in the U.S.-controlled Northern Mariana Islands. , the US still maintains Air Force, Marine, Navy, and Army military installations on the islands. These bases include
Kadena Air Base ( IATA: DNA, International Civil Aviation Organization airport code, ICAO: RODN) is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena, Okinawa, Kadena and Chatan, Okinawa, Chatan and the city of Okinawa, Okinawa, Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefectu ...

Kadena Air Base
,
Camp Foster Camp Foster, formerly known as Camp Zukeran ( ja, キャンプ・フォスター), is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force mili ...
,
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for co ...
,
Camp Hansen Camp Hansen is a United States Marine Corps base located in Okinawa, Japan. The camp is situated in the town of Kin, Okinawa, Kin, near the northern shore of Kin Bay, and is the second-northernmost major installation on Okinawa, with Camp Schwab ...
,
Camp Schwab Camp Schwab is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsi ...
,
Torii Station US Army Garrison Okinawa is a United States Army facility located in Yomitan, Okinawa, Yomitan, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Home to the United States Army on Okinawa, 10th Support Group (Regional), along with the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces G ...

Torii Station
,
Camp Kinser Camp Kinser is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible ...
, and Camp Gonsalves. The area of 14 U.S. bases are , occupying 18 percent of the main island. Okinawa hosts about two-thirds of the 50,000 American forces in Japan although the islands account for less than one percent of total lands in Japan. Suburbs have grown towards and now surround two historic major bases, Futenma and Kadena. One third () of the land used by the U.S. military is the Marine Corps Northern Training Area (known also as Camp Gonsalves or JWTC) in the north of the island. On December 21, 2016, 10,000 acres of Okinawa Northern Training Area were returned to Japan. On June 25, 2018, Okinawa residents held a protest demonstration at sea against scheduled land reclamation work for the relocation of a U.S. military base within Japan's southernmost island prefecture. A protest gathered hundreds of people.


Helipads construction in Takae (Yanbaru forest)

Since the early 2000s, Okinawans have opposed the presence of American troops
helipad Image:Helipad at Blessington Lakeside Resort - geograph.org.uk - 262175.jpg, A helipad in Ireland A helipad is a landing area or platform for helicopters and powered lift aircraft. While helicopters and powered lift aircraft are able to operate o ...

helipad
s in the Takae zone of the
Yanbaru is the Okinawan language, Okinawan and Kunigami language, Kunigami name given to the forested northern part of Okinawa Island in Japan. Spanning the northern villages of Higashi, Okinawa, Higashi, Kunigami, Okinawa, Kunigami, and Ōgimi, Okinawa, ...

Yanbaru
forest near Higashi and Kunigami. This opposition grew in July 2016 after the construction of six new helipads.


Geography


Major islands

The islands comprising the prefecture are the southern two thirds of the archipelago of the . Okinawa's inhabited islands are typically divided into three geographical archipelagos. From northeast to southwest: * ** Ie-jima () ** Kumejima, Okinawa, Kume-jima () **
Okinawa Island is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu Islands, Ryukyu (''Nansei'') Islands of Japan in the Kyushu region. It is the smallest and least populated of the five Japanese archipelago, main islands of Japan. The island is approximately ...

Okinawa Island
() ** Kerama Islands () * Miyako Islands () ** Miyako-jima * Yaeyama Islands () ** Iriomote-jima () ** Ishigaki Island () ** Yonaguni () * Senkaku Islands () * Daitō Islands () ** Minamidaitōjima () ** Kitadaitōjima () ** Okidaitōjima ()


Natural parks

As of 31 March 2019, 36 percent of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Prefectural Natural Park, Natural Parks, namely the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, Iriomote-Ishigaki, Kerama Shotō National Park, Kerama Shotō, and Yanbaru National Park, Yanbaru National Parks; Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park, Okinawa Kaigan and Okinawa Senseki Quasi-National Park, Okinawa Senseki Quasi-National Parks; and Irabu Prefectural Natural Park, Irabu, Kumejima Prefectural Natural Park, Kumejima, Tarama Prefectural Natural Park, Tarama, and Tonaki Prefectural Natural Park, Tonaki Prefectural Natural Parks.


Fauna

The dugong is an endangered marine mammal related to the manatee. Iriomote is home to one of the world's rarest and most endangered cat species, the Iriomote cat. The region is also home to at least one endemism, endemic pit viper, ''Trimeresurus elegans''. Coral reefs found in this region of Japan provide an environment that is home to a rare blue coral among greater biodiversity. The sea turtles return yearly to the southern islands of Okinawa to lay their eggs. The summer months carry warnings to swimmers regarding venomous jellyfish and other dangerous sea creatures.


Flora

Okinawa is a major producer of sugar cane, pineapple, papaya, and other tropical fruit, and the Southeast Botanical Gardens represent tropical plant species.


Geology

The island is largely composed of coral, and rainwater filtering through that coral has given the island many caves, which played an important role in the
Battle of Okinawa The , codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa Island, Okinawa by United States Army and United States Marine Corps (USMC) forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. The initial invasion ...

Battle of Okinawa
. Gyokusendo is an extensive Limestone cave#Solutional cave, limestone cave in the southern part of Okinawa's main island.


Climate

The island experiences temperatures above for most of the year. The climate of the islands ranges from humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification ''Cfa'') in the north, such as
Okinawa Island is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu Islands, Ryukyu (''Nansei'') Islands of Japan in the Kyushu region. It is the smallest and least populated of the five Japanese archipelago, main islands of Japan. The island is approximately ...

Okinawa Island
, to tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification ''Af'') in the south such as Iriomote Island. The islands of Okinawa are surrounded by some of the most abundant coral reefs found in the world. The world's largest colony of rare blue coral is found off of Ishigaki Island. Snowfall is unheard of at sea level. However, on January 24, 2016, sleet was reported in Nago on Okinawa Island for the first time on record.


Municipalities


Cities

Eleven cities are located within the Okinawa Prefecture:


Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each Districts of Japan, district:


Town mergers


Demography


Ethnic groups

The indigenous
Ryukyuan people The , also Lewchewan or Loochooan, are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group native to the Ryukyu Islands, which stretch between the islands of Kyushu and Geography of Taiwan, Taiwan. Administratively, they live in either the Okinawa Pref ...
make up the majority of Okinawa Prefecture's population, and are also the main ethnic group of the
Amami Islands The The name ''Amami-guntō'' was standardized on February 15, 2010. Prior to that, another name, ''Amami shotō'' (奄美諸島), was also used. is an archipelago in the Satsunan Islands, which is part of the Ryukyu Islands, and is southwest of ...

Amami Islands
to the north. Large Okinawan diaspora communities persist in places such as South America and Hawaii. With the introduction of American military bases, there are an increasing number of half-Americans, American children in Okinawa, including prefecture governor
Denny Tamaki is a Japanese politician and the current Governor of Okinawa Prefecture since August 2018. Tamaki was a member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly for Okinawa (city), Okinawa City from 2002 to 2005 and became the first Amerasian member of the ...
. The prefecture also has a sizable minority of Yamato people from mainland Japan; exact population numbers are difficult to establish, as the Japanese government does not officially recognise Ryukyuans as a distinct ethnic group from Yamatos. The overall ethnic identity of Okinawa residents is rather split. According to a telephone poll conducted by Lim John Chuan-tiong, an associate professor with the University of the Ryukyus, 40.6% of respondents identified as “ (Okinawan)”, 21.3% identified as “ (Japanese)” and 36.5% identified as both.


Population

Okinawa prefecture age pyramid as of October 1, 2003
(per thousands of people)
Okinawa Prefecture age pyramid, divided by sex, as of October 1, 2003
(per thousands of people)
Per Japanese census data, Okinawa prefecture has had continuous positive population growth since 1960.


Language and culture

Having been a separate nation until 1879, Okinawan language and culture differ in many ways from those of mainland Japan.


Language

There remain six Ryukyuan languages which, although related, are incomprehensible to speakers of Japanese language, Japanese. Amami Ōshima language, One of the Ryukyuan languages is spoken in
Kagoshima Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat ...
, rather than in Okinawa Prefecture. These languages are in decline as the younger generation of Okinawans uses Standard Japanese. Mainland Japanese - and some Okinawans themselves - generally perceive the Ryukyuan languages as "dialects". Standard Japanese is almost always used in formal situations. In informal situations, ''de facto'' everyday language among Okinawans under age 60 is Okinawa-accented mainland Japanese ("Okinawan Japanese"), which is often mistaken by non-Okinawans as the Okinawan language proper. The actual traditional Okinawan language is still used in traditional cultural activities, such as Okinawan music, folk music and Kumi Odori, folk dance. There is a radio-news program in the language as well.


Religion

Okinawans have traditionally followed Ryukyuan religious beliefs, generally characterized by ancestor worship and the respecting of relationships between the living, the dead, and the gods and spirits of the natural world.


Cultural influences

Okinawan culture bears traces of its various trading partners. One can find Chinese Culture, Chinese, Culture of Thailand, Thai and Austronesian peoples, Austronesian influences in the island's customs. Perhaps Okinawa's most famous cultural export is karate, probably a product of the close ties with and influence of China on Okinawan culture. Karate is thought to be a synthesis of Chinese kung fu with traditional Okinawan martial arts. A traditional Okinawan product that owes its existence to Okinawa's trading history is awamori—an Okinawan distilled spirit made from ''indica'' rice imported from Thailand.


Other cultural characteristics

Other prominent examples of Okinawan culture include the sanshin—a three-stringed Okinawan instrument, closely related to the Chinese sanxian, and ancestor of the Japanese shamisen, somewhat similar to a banjo. Its body is often bound with snakeskin (from Pythonidae, pythons, imported from elsewhere in Asia, rather than from Okinawa's venomous Trimeresurus flavoviridis, which are too small for this purpose). Okinawan culture also features the Eisa (dance), eisa dance, a traditional drumming dance. A traditional craft, the fabric named bingata, is made in workshops on the main island and elsewhere. The Okinawa diet, Okinawan diet consists of low-fat, low-salt foods, such as whole fruits and vegetables, legumes, tofu, and seaweed. Okinawans are particularly well known for consuming purple potatoes, also known as Okinawan sweet potatoes. Okinawans are known for their longevity. This particular island is a so-called Blue Zone, an area where the people live longer than most others elsewhere in the world. Five times as many Okinawans live to be 100 as in the rest of Japan, and Japanese are already the longest-lived ethnic group globally. there were 34.7 centenarians for every 100,000 inhabitants, which is the highest ratio worldwide. Possible explanations are diet, low-stress lifestyle, caring community, activity, and spirituality of the inhabitants of the island. A cultural feature of the Okinawans is the forming of Moai (social support groups), ''moais''. A is a community social gathering and groups that come together to provide financial and emotional support through emotional bonding, advice giving, and social funding. This provides a sense of security for the community members and as mentioned in the Blue Zone studies, may be a contributing factor to the longevity of its people. In recent years, Okinawan literature has been appreciated outside of the Ryukyu archipelago. Two Okinawan writers have received the Akutagawa Prize: Matayoshi Eiki in 1995 for and Medoruma Shun in 1997 for ''A Drop of Water'' (''Suiteki''). The prize was also won by Okinawans in 1967 by Tatsuhiro Oshiro for ''Cocktail Party'' () and in 1971 by Mineo Higashi for ''Okinawan Boy'' ().


Karate

Karate originated in Okinawa. Over time, it developed into several styles and sub-styles. On Okinawa, the three main styles are considered to be Shōrin-ryū, Gōjū-ryū and Uechi-ryū. Internationally, the various styles and sub-styles include Matsubayashi-ryū, Wadō-ryū, Isshin-ryū, Shōrinkan, Shotokan, Shitō-ryū, Shōrinjiryū Kenkōkan Karate, Shōrinjiryū Kenkōkan, Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo, Shorinjiryu Koshinkai, and Shōrinji-ryū.


Architecture

Despite widespread destruction during World War II, there are many remains of a unique type of castle or fortress known as ''gusuku''; the most Values (heritage), significant are now inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List (Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu). In addition, List of Important Cultural Properties of Japan (Okinawa: structures), twenty-three Ryukyuan architectural complexes and List of Historic Sites of Japan (Okinawa), forty historic sites have been Cultural Properties of Japan, designated for protection by the national government. Shuri Castle in
Naha is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a country, Constituent state, state, province, Department (country subdivision), department, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of th ...

Naha
is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whereas most Housing in Japan, homes in Japan are made from wood and allow free-flow of air to combat humidity, typical modern homes in Okinawa are made from concrete with barred windows to protect from flying plant debris and to withstand regular typhoons. Roofs are designed with strong winds in mind, in which each tile is cemented on and not merely layered as seen with many homes in Japan. The Nakamura House (:ja:中村家住宅 (沖縄県)) is an original 18th century farmhouse in Kitanakagusuki. Many roofs also display a lion-dog statue, called a ''shisa'', which is said to protect the home from danger. Roofs are typically red in color and are inspired by Chinese design.


Education

The Public school (government funded), public schools in Okinawa are overseen by the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education. The agency directly operates several public high schools including Okinawa Shogaku High School. The U.S. Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) operates 13 schools total in Okinawa. Seven of these schools are located on Kadena Air Base. Okinawa has many types of private schools. Some of them are cram schools, also known as juku. Others, such as Nova (eikaiwa), Nova, solely teach language. People also attend small language schools. There are 10 list of universities in Japan, colleges/universities in Okinawa, including the University of the Ryukyus, the only List of national universities in Japan, national university in the prefecture, and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, a new international research institute. Okinawa's American military bases also host the Asian Division of the University of Maryland University College.


Sports

;Association football * FC Ryukyu (
Naha is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a country, Constituent state, state, province, Department (country subdivision), department, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of th ...
) ;Basketball * Ryukyu Golden Kings (
Naha is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a country, Constituent state, state, province, Department (country subdivision), department, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of th ...
) ;Handball * Ryukyu Corazon (
Naha is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a country, Constituent state, state, province, Department (country subdivision), department, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of th ...
) ;Baseball Announced on July 18, 2019, BASE Okinawa Baseball Club will be forming the first-ever professional baseball team on Okinawa, the Ryukyu Blue Oceans. The team is expected to be fully organized by January 2020 and intends on joining the Nippon Professional Baseball league. In addition, various baseball teams from Japan hold training during the winter in Okinawa prefecture as it is the warmest prefecture of Japan with no snow and higher temperatures than other prefectures. * SoftBank Hawks * Yokohama BayStars * Chunichi Dragons * Yakult Swallows ;Golf There are numerous golf courses in the prefecture, and there was formerly a professional tournament called the Okinawa Open.


Transportation


Air transportation

* Aguni Airport * Hateruma Airport * Iejima Airport * New Ishigaki Airport * Kerama Airport * Kitadaito Airport * Kumejima Airport * Minami-Daito Airport * Miyako Airport * Naha Airport * Shimojishima Airport * Tarama Airport * Yonaguni Airport


Highways

* * * * * * * * * * *


Rail

* Okinawa Urban Monorail


Ports

The major ports of Okinawa include: * Naha Port * Port of Unten * Port of Kinwan * Nakagusukuwan Port * Hirara Port * Port of Ishigaki Island, Ishigaki


Economy

The 34 US military installations on Okinawa are financially supported by the U.S. and Japan. The bases provide jobs for Okinawans, both directly and indirectly; In 2011, the U.S. military employed over 9,800 Japanese workers in Okinawa. the bases accounted for 4 or 5 percent of the economy. However, Koji Taira argued in 1997 that because the U.S. bases occupy around 20 percent of Okinawa's land, they impose a deadweight loss of 15 percent on the Okinawan economy. The Tokyo government also pays the prefectural government around ¥10 billion per year in compensation for the American presence, including, for instance, rent paid by the Japanese government to the Okinawans on whose land American bases are situated.The Okinawa Solution
. G2mil.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
A 2005 report by the U.S. Forces Japan Okinawa Area Field Office estimated that in 2003 the combined U.S. and Japanese base-related spending contributed $1.9 billion to the local economy. On January 13, 2015, In response to the citizens electing governor Takeshi Onaga, the national government announced that Okinawa's funding will be cut, due to the governor's stance on removing the US military bases from Okinawa, which the national government does not want happening. The Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau is exploring the possibility of using facilities on the military bases for large-scale Meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions events.


Military


United States military installations

* United States Marine Corps ** Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler ***
Camp Foster Camp Foster, formerly known as Camp Zukeran ( ja, キャンプ・フォスター), is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force mili ...
***
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for co ...
***
Camp Kinser Camp Kinser is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible ...
*** Camp Courtney *** Camp McTureous ***
Camp Hansen Camp Hansen is a United States Marine Corps base located in Okinawa, Japan. The camp is situated in the town of Kin, Okinawa, Kin, near the northern shore of Kin Bay, and is the second-northernmost major installation on Okinawa, with Camp Schwab ...
***
Camp Schwab Camp Schwab is a United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsi ...
*** Camp Gonsalves (Jungle Warfare Training Center) * United States Air Force **
Kadena Air Base ( IATA: DNA, International Civil Aviation Organization airport code, ICAO: RODN) is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena, Okinawa, Kadena and Chatan, Okinawa, Chatan and the city of Okinawa, Okinawa, Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefectu ...

Kadena Air Base

Okuma Beach Resort
* United States Navy ** Camp Lester (Camp Kuwae)Camp Lester (Camp Kuwae)
. Globalsecurity.org (1996-12-02). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
** Camp Shields ** Naval Facility White Beach * United States Army **
Torii Station US Army Garrison Okinawa is a United States Army facility located in Yomitan, Okinawa, Yomitan, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Home to the United States Army on Okinawa, 10th Support Group (Regional), along with the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces G ...

Torii Station
** Fort Buckner ** Naha Military Port


Notable people

* Chōjun Miyagi founder of Gōjū-ryū, "hard/soft" style of Okinawan Karate. * Uechi Kanbun was the founder of Uechi-ryū, one of the primary karate styles of Okinawa. * Mitsuru Ushijima was the Japanese general at the Battle of Okinawa during the final stages of World War II. * Isamu Chō was an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army known for his support of ultranationalist politics and involvement in a number of attempted military and right-wing coup d'états in pre-World War II Japan. * Ōta Minoru was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, and the final commander of the Japanese naval forces defending the Oroku Peninsula during the Battle of Okinawa. * Sato Eisaku was a Japanese politician and the 61st, 62nd and 63rd Prime Minister of Japan. While he was premier in 1972, Okinawa was returned to Japan. * Yabu Kentsū was a prominent teacher of Shōrin-ryū karate in Okinawa from the 1910s until the 1930s, and was among the first people to demonstrate karate in Hawaii. * Takuji Iwasaki was a meteorologist, biologist, ethnologist historian. * Matayoshi Eiki Okinawan novel writer, winner of Akutagawa prize * Gackt Japanese pop rock singer-songwriter, actor, author * Namie Amuro Japanese R&B, hip hop and pop singer * Beni (singer), Beni Japanese pop and R&B singer *Ben Shepherd Bassist of the band Soundgarden *Noriyuki Sugasawa basketball player * Orange Range Japanese rock band * Stereopony Japanese all-female pop rock band * Tamlyn Tomita actress and singer * Rino Nakasone Razalan professional dancer and choreographer. * Yukie Nakama singer, musician and actress * Daichi Miura Japanese pop singer, dancer and choreographer. * Yui Aragaki actress, singer, and model * Hearts Grow Japanese band * Aisa Senda, Japanese singer, actress and TV presenter in Taiwan * Robert Griffin III, American football quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner * Dave Roberts (outfielder), Dave Roberts, Major League Baseball player and manager *Rimi Natsukawa (夏川 りみ ''Natsukawa Rimi),'' :Japanese women pop singers, Japanese women pop singers *Yuken Teruya interdisciplinary artist *Chikako Yamashiro filmmaker and video artist *Byron Fija Okinawan language practitioner and activist *Merle Dandridge Japanese American actress and singer *Sho Yonashiro, singer, member of JO1, a former contestant on Produce 101 Japan *Tina Tamashiro, Fashion Model and Actress *Jin Matsuda, singer, member of INI (Japanese boy group), a former contestant on Produce 101 Japan (season 2) *Awich, rapper, singer and songwriter


See also

* Okinawa Prefectural Assembly * :American people of Okinawan descent, Okinawan Americans * :People from Okinawa Prefecture, People from Okinawa Prefecture *
Ryukyuan people The , also Lewchewan or Loochooan, are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group native to the Ryukyu Islands, which stretch between the islands of Kyushu and Geography of Taiwan, Taiwan. Administratively, they live in either the Okinawa Pref ...


Notes


References


External links


Okinawa Prefectural Government Washington DC Office

Official Okinawa Prefecture website



Ryukyu Cultural ArchivesOkinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum
* {{Authority control Okinawa Prefecture, Blue Zones Former regions and territories of the United States Japan–United States relations Kyushu region Prefectures of Japan Ryukyu Islands