Tag - okinawa



Giant African snails are unpopular among local residents and are referred to as an alien species that shouldn’t be touched, as they damage crops and sometimes hosts rat lungworms.
JAPAN / Society
Feb 19, 2024
Giant African snails mark 90 years of history in Okinawa
The snails, one of the world’s largest of the kind, are native to East Africa, and their shells can grow to as high as 20 centimeters.
Defense Minister Minoru Kihara (left) and Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki hold talks at the Okinawa Prefectural Government office in Naha on Saturday.
Feb 18, 2024
Defense minister meets Okinawa governor over U.S. base transfer
The meeting came over a month after the central government started construction work on a part of the new base for relocation.
Okinawa Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder for allegedly dragging a woman onto a road, leaving her to be run over by a passing taxi in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Feb 13, 2024
Okinawa man arrested for allegedly leaving woman in street to be run over
Police reports indicate that the pair had been drinking together immediately prior to the incident, with the woman possibly intoxicated and unable to move.
The planned return to Japan of a U.S. military port in Naha has been delayed to at least the late 2030s.
Feb 11, 2024
Relocation of Naha military port remains a long way off
The facility sits on land near downtown Naha and Naha Airport, and is drawing attention as a promising development site.
The “myahk,” a community currency implemented on Okinawa Prefecture’s Miyako Island in 2018, is intimately tied to local efforts for environmental preservation.
LIFE / Lifestyle / Longform
Feb 10, 2024
Japanese communities are creating currencies to educate and empower citizens
The yen will do when paying for things throughout the country. In some places, though, you may try paying with a coin that also helps reduce plastic waste.
Katsuaki Kiyokawa, president of Potama Co., holds a pork and fried egg rice ball outside one of his stores in Fukuoka.
LIFE / Food & Drink
Feb 5, 2024
The Okinawan Spam soul food sandwich that's on a roll
The story of Potama's success starts with a love story between a man from Osaka and an Okinawan woman who knew how to cook.
Tourists board a ferry to Iriomote Island, Okinawa Prefecture, from Ishigaki, another island in the prefecture. The local government of the town of Taketomi, which includes Iriomote Island, is planning to introduce a visitor's tax to fund environmental protection measures in the face of rising tourist numbers.
JAPAN / Society / FOCUS
Jan 30, 2024
Local governments in Japan battle overtourism challenges
Officials are seeking ways to solve problems that emerge from higher tourist numbers, such as a shortage of taxis and the accumulation of garbage.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi meets Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki at the Okinawa Prefectural Government building on Sunday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 28, 2024
Japanese government to proceed with U.S. base relocation within Okinawa
During the meeting with Hayashi, Tamaki demanded that the central government immediately stop the landfill work related to the Futenma relocation project
Pupils at Moromi Elementary School in the city of Okinawa use PCs during class to compile information they gather from textbooks and the internet.
JAPAN / Society / Regional Voices: Okinawa
Jan 15, 2024
Tapping tech's potential, elementary school pushes proactive learning
Pupils, instead of teachers, take the lead in learning according to the goals that they themselves set at the Okinawa school.
Construction work is underway on Wednesday in Oura Bay in Okinawa Prefecture, the site of the coastal airfield that will replace Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
Jan 12, 2024
Futenma moves forward, but local concerns must be addressed
Originally planned to have been finished by now, the base project is now anticipated to take over nine years to complete.
Heavy machinery is used to pour in stone material from a work boat into the sea off the coast of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 10, 2024
U.S. base transfer work in Okinawa begins after state OKs by proxy
In an an unprecedented move, the national government overrode the local government's objection and approved a modified landfill plan.
Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki holds a news conference on Wednesday.
Dec 28, 2023
Japanese government overrides Okinawa objection to Henoko work
The approval is "a milestone" for the total transfer of the Futenma air base as early as possible, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara told reporters.
Construction work goes on in the Henoko coastal district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Monday, with Oura Bay in the foreground.
Dec 27, 2023
Japan to OK base relocation project design change by proxy
The approval of the change application will mark the central government's first-ever proxy execution of a local government administrative task.
A supporter of Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki holds up a sign on Wednesday in front of the Fukuoka District Court's Naha branch saying that the court's ruling — effectively clearing the way for further landfill work to relocate a U.S. base in Okinawa — is "unjust."
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Dec 20, 2023
Court orders Okinawa governor to approve base relocation work
The move by the high court's Naha branch circumvents Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki, who has not approved the plan amid staunch local opposition.
Former MLB star Ichiro Suzuki works with high school students during a session as a special instructor on the island of Miyakojima in Okinawa Prefecture on Dec. 16.
Dec 18, 2023
Ichiro goes back to school again as a special instructor
The 50-year-old, who retired in March 2019, has now worked with eight schools.
Kubura fishing port and Kubura district on the island of Yonaguni, Okinawa Prefecture
Dec 17, 2023
Frontier islanders decry lack of plan to aid fleeing Taiwanese
Concerned about the potential for a China-Taiwan conflict, Japan has embarked on its biggest defense buildup since World War II.
U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture
Dec 16, 2023
Henoko base relocation project enters new phase in Okinawa
The project to relocate a U.S. military base to the Henoko coastal area is entering a new phase five years after land reclamation began there.
Construction work is conducted in the Henoko coastal area in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Thursday.
Dec 15, 2023
Okinawa promotion spending to fall to ¥267.8 billion in fiscal 2024
The outlay would stand below ¥300 billion for the third successive year, according to a government estimate.
Cinema at Sea film festival entry “God Is a Woman,” directed by Andres Peyrot, examines the complex feelings the Kuna, indigenous people living on Panama’s San Blas Islands, have about an unreleased documentary made about them in 1975.
Dec 9, 2023
Cinema at Sea festival highlights diversity and unheard voices
The inaugural event for the film festival in Naha, Okinawa, boasted a strong lineup of features from places and peoples underrepresented in world cinema.
A Japan Coast Guard ship and helicopter search the area on Thursday where a U.S. military Osprey aircraft crashed off Yakushima in Kagoshima Prefecture a day earlier.
Nov 30, 2023
Japan asks U.S. to suspend Osprey flights until safety is confirmed
The U.S. air station in Futenma continued its operation of Osprey aircraft after Wednesday’s incident, causing local residents to voice their concern.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves