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Record 7.76 million tourists visit Okinawa in 2015

January 22, 2016 Ryuyku Shimpo

On January 21, the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) announced the number of tourist visits to Okinawa in the calendar year 2015. The number was 7,760,000, representing a 10 percent increase over the previous year and reaching a new high for three consecutive years. The number of foreign tourists increased by a considerable 68.8 percent over the previous year to 1,501,200. Meanwhile, the number of tourists coming from other areas of Japan virtually stagnated...

 

Rice planting starts in Iriomote Island, earliest harvest in Japan

Rice planting starts in Iriomote Island, earliest harvest in Japan

January 20, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

Japan’s earliest rice planting has now begun in the prefecture’s Yaeyama region, where most of the rice grown in Okinawa is produced. In Taketomi Town on Iriomote Island, 39-year-old rice farmer Kohkin Nishiohmasu started planting rice seedlings of the Hitomebore...

Coral reefs in Oura Bay recovering from El Nino

Coral reefs in Oura Bay recovering from El Nino

January 22, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Association for Protecting the Beautiful Sea of Okinawa carried out a survey to check the condition of coral reefs in Oura Bay, Nago City. The association surveyed two areas in the bay, including Chiribishi where staghorn coral is recovering from the near-extinction...

Incumbent Sakima wins mayoral election in city hosting US Futenma base

Incumbent Sakima wins mayoral election in city hosting US Futenma base

January 24, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the Ginowan mayoral election held on January 24, incumbent Atsushi Sakima, 51, who was seeking a second term and had the support of the Japanese government’s ruling parties, won against challenger Keiichiro Shimura, 63, a former prefectural government...

Chemicals detected in Kadena Air Base water

Chemicals detected in Kadena Air Base water

January 19, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 18, Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) announced that an illegal chemical substance was found in Kadena Air Base water, Dakujaku River and Hija River. Dakujaku River runs through Okinawa City and Hija River runs through towns such as Kadena. OPG relies...

Okinawa prefectural government inquiry into Dugongs in four ocean areas

January 7, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Department of Environmental Affairs of the prefectural government will carry out a survey on dugongs from fiscal year 2016 for two years. The animal is designated as a protected species in Japan. This will be the first investigation for dugongs by the prefectural...

Japanese government ignores Okinawa educational board’s opposition to moving Henoko’s hermit crabs

January 20, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural Education Board has told the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs its opposition to capturing and moving Coenobita hermit crabs living at Henoko, Nago. The Defense Ministry’s Okinawa bureau sent a request to the prefectural...

Governor Onaga announces a third lawsuit over Henoko land reclamation

Governor Onaga announces a third lawsuit over Henoko land reclamation

January 19, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

Last month, the Committee for Settling National-Local Disputes dismissed the Okinawa prefectural government’s request for a review. The Okinawa prefectural government had requested that the Committee review the appropriateness of the Minister of Land, Infrastructure,...

Former JSDF member calls sit-in at Camp Schwab a bulwark against militarism

Former JSDF member calls sit-in at Camp Schwab a bulwark against militarism

January 18, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the early morning on January 18, about 80 citizens gathered in front of Camp Schwab’s gate to protest construction of the replacement facility for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Henoko, Nago. Between 7 a.m. and 9:20 a.m., riot police officers removed...

Okinawa launches further legal action against Japan for Henoko

Okinawa launches further legal action against Japan for Henoko

January 15, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) decided to launch an additional court case on January 14 against the national government over the issue of Futenma Air base relocation to Henoko in Nago City. The case is to file complaints about the decision made by the third...

Yamashita ruins to become park for citizens

Yamashita ruins to become park for citizens

January 12, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

Yamashita Town First Cave Ruin is known as one of the oldest ruins of the Paleolithic period. Naha City government completed a project to renovate the cave and made it a park. An inauguration ceremony was held in Yamashita Town, Naha, on January 8. Based on a...