Okinawa (沖縄) is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, an island chain to the south of mainland. The name Okinawa means “rope in the open sea”, a fairly apt description of this long stretch of islands between mainland Japan and Taiwan. Consisting of 49 inhabited islands and 111 uninhabited islands, Okinawa has a subtropical/tropical climate. Unlike the other Japanese subtropical/tropical islands such as Ogasawara Islands, Amami Islands and Tokara Islands, there are frequent flights from all the major cities of Japan, which helps Okinawa being one of the major tourist destinations for the Japanese. Every year there are more and more foreign visitors going to Okinawa but the number still remains low compared to the tourist destinations on mainland Japan. …WikiTravel
Diving. The Okinawa archipelago is known as one of the world’s best diving destinations, having a number of coral species and marine lives as large as those in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. You can find over 400 types of corals, 5 types of sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and many kinds of tropical fish.
Beach. Most people come to Okinawa for the sun and beaches. Even in midwinter, when many areas of the mainland Japan teeter around the freezing point, temperatures rarely dip below 15°C in Okinawa. For more adventurous types, the vast yet almost uninhabited island of Iriomote is covered in dense jungle.
Historical sites related to World War II can be found throughout the islands, especially the main island of Okinawa, including the Peace Memorial Park in Naha, the navy’s former underground headquarters and the Himeyuri Monument. …WikiTravel
Japan’s central government is pushing ahead with a controversial plan to relocate an American military base within the southern prefecture of Okinawa. They’ve started full-scale land reclamation work despite strong local opposition.
An increasing number of national parks and other scenic areas in Japan are collecting voluntary entry payments from visitors for environmental protection and infrastructure improvements, including the creation of pathways and the installation of bathrooms.
Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. pledged Friday to administer more stringent alcohol tests for pilots and use new testing equipment in response to recent drinking incidents involving flight crew.
The national health insurance program underwent a major reform at the start of fiscal 2018 that saw prefectures, rather than municipalities, begin managing the deficit-ridden system to improve its financial base. (Japan Times)
Okinawa Prefectural Police have arrested a male employee at a hotel over the alleged theft of women’s underwear from a laundromat in Uruma City earlier this year, reports the Okinawa Times (tokyoreporter.comt)