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As of 2012[update] the bases accounted for 4 or 5 percent of the economy. People also attend small language schools. Pg 120, Havens, T. R. H. (1987) Fire Across the Sea: The Vietnam War and Japan, 1965–1975. 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. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/place/Okinawa-prefecture-Japan, Official Site of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, Okinawa - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). 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. 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. Perhaps Okinawa's most famous cultural export is karate, probably a product of the close ties with and influence of China on Okinawan culture. Pop. 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. [69] Iriomote is home to one of the world's rarest and most endangered cat species, the Iriomote cat. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Area prefecture, 877 square miles (2,271 square km). Okinawa, ken (prefecture) of Japan, located in the Pacific Ocean. 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. Find out more about Okinawa! According to a 2007 Okinawa Times poll, 85 percent of Okinawans opposed the presence of the U.S. military,[41] because of noise pollution from military drills, the risk of aircraft accidents,[note 5] environmental degradation,[42] and crowding from the number of personnel there,[43] although 73.4 percent of Japanese citizens appreciated the mutual security treaty with the U.S. and the presence of the USFJ. Travel to East Asia and sort out the facts in this journey through Japan. Typhoon Haishen: 200,000 ordered to evacuate as Japan braces for storm ... Japan furious after massive coronavirus outbreak at US military bases. [50], A study done in 2010 found that the prolonged exposure to aircraft noise around the 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. [53], On September 30, 2018, Denny Tamaki was elected as the next governor of Okinawa prefecture, after a campaign focused on sharply reducing the U.S. military presence on the island. Okinawa's American military bases also host the Asian Division of the University of Maryland University College. [44] In another poll conducted by the Asahi Shimbun 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. The Satsuma clan earned considerable profits from trade with China during a period in which foreign trade was heavily restricted by the shogunate. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [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. [58], In 2009, Japan's former foreign minister 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)[citation needed] 5,000 of 9,000 Marines will be deployed at Guam and the rest will be deployed at Hawaii and Australia. Okinawans have less cancer, heart disease and dementia than Americans, and … Roofs are typically red in color and are inspired by Chinese design. During the Korean War, B-29 Superfortresses flew bombing missions over Korea from Kadena Air Base on Okinawa. [29], Political leaders such as Oda Makoto, a major figure in the Beheiren 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. [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. As a result, the media has drawn renewed interest in the Ryukyu independence movement. Prior to that, the Ryukyu Kingdom was an independent dynasty that played a crucial role in building East Asian shipping networks. [4][5], The oldest evidence of human existence on the Ryukyu islands is from the Stone Age and was discovered in Naha[7] and Yaeyama. [105] 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. Okinawa. ", "Opponent of U.S. Military bases wins Okinawa gubernatorial election", "Okinawa US base move in doubt after governor elections", "U.S. base relocation opponent elected Okinawan governor", "Eight Thousand U.S. Marines to Move From Okinawa to Guam", "U.S., Japan unveil revised plan for Okinawa", "A closer look at U.S. Futenma base's 'relocation' issue", "U.S. Returns 10,000 Acres of Okinawan Training Area to Japan", "Protest held in Okinawa against landfill for U.S. base transfer", "Tensions between protesters and riot police mount over construction of U.S. Marine Corps helipads in Takae", "Okinawa protests erupt as U.S. Helipad construction resumes", "Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Construction of U.S. Military Airstrip in Japan That Would Destroy Habitat of Endangered Okinawa Dugongs", "Establishing World-Class Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring in Okinawa", "Immigration—Missing Link in Japanese History: Why Are There So Many Okinawan Immigrants? During the 14th century, Okinawa was divided into three main kingdoms; Hokuzan, Chuzan, and Nanzan (northern, central, and southern). 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. The actual traditional Okinawan language is still used in traditional cultural activities, such as folk music and folk dance. The islands of Okinawa are surrounded by some of the most abundant coral reefs found in the world. Four years after the 1868 Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government, through military incursions, officially annexed the kingdom and renamed it Ryukyu han. The region is also home to at least one endemic pit viper, Trimeresurus elegans. Okinawa was then perceived, by some inside Japan, as a potential target for China, should the communist government feel threatened by United States. [103] The Tokyo government also pays the prefectural government around ¥10 billion per year[101] 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. Okinawan culture bears traces of its various trading partners. Standard Japanese is almost always used in formal situations. Ryukyu han became Okinawa Prefecture of Japan in 1879, even though all other hans had become prefectures of Japan in 1872. Okinawa Prefecture was ruled by the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1429 and unofficially annexed by Japan after the Invasion of Ryukyu in 1609. [84] As of 2002[update] there were 34.7 centenarians for every 100,000 inhabitants, which is the highest ratio worldwide. Internationally, the various styles and sub-styles include Matsubayashi-ryū, Wadō-ryū, Isshin-ryū, Shōrinkan, Shotokan, Shitō-ryū, Shōrinjiryū Kenkōkan, Shorinjiryu Koshinkai, and Shōrinji-ryū.

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