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
Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, agreed Sunday that the two countries should steadily promote reciprocal visits by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in order to improve bilateral relations. (the-japan-news.com)
The Japanese and Chinese governments are in the final stage of discussions on a social security agreement aimed at resolving the issue of double payments of pension premiums by Japanese and Chinese employees dispatched to each other’s countries, it has been learned.
Work to dispose of a World War II bomb that did not explode was carried out on Kokusai-dori, a major street in the city center of Naha, the capital of Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, on Saturday. (Jiji)
A submarine and a Chinese Navy warship have entered the contiguous zone surrounding Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, the Japanese Defense Ministry said Thursday. (Jiji)
The U.S. Marine Corps said Sunday one of its helicopters made an emergency landing on an islet in Okinawa the previous day after an instrument reading indicated the main rotor was “moving at too high a speed.” (Japan Times)
With some two-and-a-half years to go before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, a novel project to create gold, silver and bronze medals for the competitions by utilizing so-called urban mines needs a boost. (Jiji)
Local assemblies around Japan are discussing or preparing to pass ordinances that will place strict limits on where minpaku (private lodging services) can be located, in advance of a national law that will go into effect in June regulating their use. (Japan Times)
Japan appeals to different people for different reasons. Some visit for the history or the food. Many stay for the martial arts, while others keep coming back for a dose of manga, anime and video-game culture. Still others come to enjoy the land — the huge span of scenery from the north of Hokkaido to Okinawa in the southwest, and the sharp changes such places undergo with the revolutions of season. (Japan Times)
In the latest incident involving the American military in Okinawa, a U.S. Navy C-2 transport aircraft carrying 11 crew members and passengers crashed into the ocean 150 km northwest of Okinotorishima on Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Japanese people have grown less interested in the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and the islets of Takeshima in Shimane Prefecture, claimed by China and South Korea, respectively, Cabinet Office surveys showed Friday. (Jiji)
The U.S. military will suspend flights of CH-53 large transport helicopters in Japan, following the previous day’s crash of one such aircraft in the village of Higashi in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday. (Jiji)
A dog checked as cargo by a passenger on a Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo’s Haneda airport Monday morning escaped before being loaded onto the plane, causing a runway to be shut temporarily and disrupting a total of 14 flights. (Kyodo)