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
“Really, really thank you,” iconic Japanese pop singer Namie Amuro told thousands of fans at the end of her final live stage performance, held in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, on Saturday, the day before her retirement from the show business. (Jiji)
The Okinawa prefectural government on Friday canceled its permission for landfill work for the construction of a U.S. military facility in the Henoko coastal area in Nago in the southernmost Japan prefecture. (Jiji)
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)
The Japanese government is considering granting pardons to coincide with the abdication of Emperor Akihito and the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito next year, government sources said on Thursday. (Jiji)
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)
The Japanese government plans to withdraw its proposal for the addition of Amami-Okinawa islands to the UNESCO World Heritage List for now, with a view to resubmitting the application to the international cultural body next year after revamping it, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)