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. Tuna fishing, cattle raising, sugar refining, and pineapple canning constitute Okinawa’s main economic activities, and tourism is of growing importance. [86], In recent years,[when?] Under the 1952 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between United States and Japan, United States Forces Japan (USFJ) have maintained a large military presence. Okinawa Prefecture's indigenous ethnic group are the Ryukyuan people, who also live in the Amami Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture. Okinawa's inhabited islands are typically divided into three geographical archipelagos. One third (9,852 acres (39.87 km2))[citation needed] 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. Okinawan culture also features the eisa dance, a traditional drumming dance. 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 “沖縄人 (Okinawan)”, 21.3% identified as “日本人 (Japanese)” and 36.5% identified as both. Learn more about Okinawa and plan your trip. As a result, the media has drawn renewed interest in the Ryukyu independence movement. 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. Documents declassified in 1997 proved that both tactical and strategic weapons have been maintained in Okinawa. [29], As controversy grew regarding the alleged placement of nuclear weapons on Okinawa, fears intensified over the escalation of the Vietnam War. 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. Okinawan culture bears traces of its various trading partners. 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. [51], In 2011, it was reported that the U.S. military—contrary to repeated denials by the Pentagon—had kept tens of thousands of barrels of Agent Orange on the island. It is the smallest and least populated of the five main islands of Japan. The 34 US military installations on Okinawa are financially supported by the U.S. and Japan. [20], Since 1960, the U.S. and Japan have maintained an agreement that allows the U.S. to secretly bring nuclear weapons into Japanese ports. Having been a separate nation until 1879, Okinawan language and culture differ in many ways from those of mainland Japan. 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. Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄県, Japanese: Okinawa-ken, Okinawan: Uchinaa-chin ) is a prefecture of Japan located on the Ryukyu Islands. A third of Okinawa's civilian population died;[18] a quarter of the civilian population died during the 1945 Battle of Okinawa alone. [31] The Beheiren became a more visible anti-war movement on Okinawa as the American involvement in Vietnam intensified. [46] Some cited statistics that the crime rate of military personnel is consistently less than that of the general Okinawan population. [citation needed]. [40], Suburbs have grown towards and now surround two historic major bases, Futenma and Kadena. Even two years later, government investigators found that Okinawans and the environment near the leak were still suffering because of the depot. The sea turtles return yearly to the southern islands of Okinawa to lay their eggs. [28] Anti-Vietnam War sentiment became linked politically to the movement for reversion of Okinawa to Japan. [65] This opposition grew in July 2016 after the construction of six new helipads.[66][67]. [48], 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. [35], In 1972, the U.S. government handed over the islands to Japanese administration. In April 1945 U.S. troops made an amphibious landing on Okinawa, which was heavily defended by the Japanese. Prior to that, the Ryukyu Kingdom was an independent dynasty that played a crucial role in building East Asian shipping networks. Okinawa, Japan is a prefecture (similar to a state in the United States) that is made up of hundreds of islands in southern Japan.The islands comprise a total of 877 square miles (2,271 square kilometers) and has a population of over 1.3 million. [8] Some human bone fragments from the Paleolithic era were unearthed from a site in Naha, but the artifact was lost in transportation before it was examined to be Paleolithic or not. [77] There is also a sizable mainland Japanese minority in the prefecture. [3] Okinawa Prefecture encompasses two thirds of the Ryukyu Islands, including the Okinawa, Daitō and Sakishima groups, extending 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) southwest from the Satsunan Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture to Taiwan.


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