15 Facts About Okinawa


Okinawa Prefecture was ruled by the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1429 and unofficially annexed by Japan after the Invasion of Ryukyu in 1609.

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Okinawa Prefecture was officially founded in 1879 by the Empire of Japan after seven years as the Ryukyu Domain, the last domain of the Han system.

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Okinawa Prefecture was occupied by the United States of America during the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II, 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.

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Okinawa was the Japanese word identifying the islands, first seen in the biography of Jianzhen, written in 779.

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Between 1965 and 1972, Okinawa was a key staging point for United States in its military operations directed towards North Vietnam.

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The Vietnam War highlighted the differences between United States and Okinawa, but showed a commonality between the islands and mainland Japan.

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Okinawa was then perceived, by some inside Japan, as a potential target for China, should the communist government feel threatened by United States.

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US military bases on Okinawa became a focal point for anti-Vietnam War sentiment.

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In 1999 and 2002, the Japan Times and the Okinawa Times reported speculation that not all weapons were removed from Okinawa.

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Okinawa's inhabited islands are typically divided into three geographical archipelagos.

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

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The islands of Okinawa are surrounded by some of the most abundant coral reefs found in the world.

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Per Japanese census data, Okinawa prefecture has had continuous positive population growth since 1960.

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Whereas most 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.

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Public schools in Okinawa are overseen by the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education.

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