Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Okinawa Gov. Inamine tired, won't seek third term

NAHA, Okinawa Pref. (Kyodo) Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine does not plan to run for a third term in December, political sources said Friday.

Inamine, 72, revealed his intention in a dinner meeting with Diet lawmakers from Okinawa and others Thursday, the sources said.

'I have been sprinting 400 meters at the pace of a 100-meter run. I cannot run anymore,' he was quoted as saying. He also said he will announce his intention to step down to the prefectural assembly in June, the sources added.

Inamine was in Tokyo to attend Thursday's annual spring garden party hosted by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, and other functions.

Inamine is a strong proponent of reducing the heavy burden on the prefecture of hosting U.S. military bases.

A former president of Ryukyu Oil Co., he was first elected governor in 1998 and re-elected in 2002.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Japan plans to build its own island

Japanese officials reportedly plan to grow an island on an isolated reef 1,000 miles south of Tokyo to win a political dispute.

Scientists plan to implant coral 'seeds' on the reef in an effort to raise the reef's ranking to that of an official island, The Times of London reported Tuesday. An island designation would give Japan economic rights to 162,000-square miles of ocean that occupy a crucial strategic position.

The territory, known as Okino-Torishima is a coral reef three miles long and a mile wide. But, The Times noted, as an island it would secure Japan's rights to an Exclusive Economic Zone in a 200-mile radius.

So now, Japanese scientists are to harvest about 300,000 'eggs' of three varieties of coral from Okino-Torishima, and grow them in warmer, less turbulent seas near Okinawa before they are returned to the Okino-Torishima reef to transform it into an island.

'It is hard to say growing coral will directly result in our holding on to our territory,' Toru Noda, of Japan's Ministry for Land, Infrastructure and Transport, told The Times. 'But it should help to preserve the island.'

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Okinawa Armed Services Blood Bank seeks O+, O- blood

CAMP LESTER, Okinawa — The Armed Services Blood Bank Center here is asking folks to roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life — especially if your gift is O-positive or O-negative.

The center is always in need of blood, but according to blood donor recruiter C. Tracy Parmer, it’s in dire need of O types.
Read more

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Two moderate earthquakes strike Japanese islands near Okinawa

Tokyo, April 15. (AP): Two moderate earthquakes jolted an island chain off southwestern Japan today, but there was no danger of a tsunami, the Meteorological Agency said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the quakes, the first of which registered a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 and hit at 0912 IST (12:42 pm local time), the agency said. The second, of magnitude 3.6, followed five minutes later.

The Meteorological Agency said the quakes were most strongly felt along an island chain stretching southwest from the island of Kyushu toward Okinawa prefecture, more than 1,000 kilometres southwest of Tokyo.

The tremors were centered between 20 kilometres and 30 kilometres under the ocean floor. The agency said there was no threat of a tsunami, potentially dangerous waves triggered by seismic activity.

Japan, which rests atop several tectonic plates, is among the world's most earthquake-prone countries. A magnitude 5 quake can damage houses and buildings in densely populated areas.

Friday, April 14, 2006

China won't return Okinawa treasures

China will turn down any request to return ancient Japanese treasures given in tribute to past Chinese rulers, a government official has said.

Zheng Xinmiao, curator of Beijing's Palace Museum and vice minister of culture, was responding to Japanese media reports that Okinawa officials had asked Japan's new ambassador to China to 'return the Ryukyuan treasures to their hometown.'

The Beijing museum has several hundred items given to Chinese emperors by the Ryukyu Kingdom, now Japan's prefecture of Okinawa.

'This is impossible if they are referring to articles given as tribute to emperors during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties by the Ryukyu Kingdom, a dependency of China at that time,' said Zheng.

'We would like to be of assistance, if the people of Okinawa wish to borrow these treasures for exhibition,' said Zheng, adding China had not received a formal request in this regard.

'We organized an exhibition of these items in Okinawa once, and that is the only time they have been abroad for show,' Zheng said.

Historical records show the Ryukyu Kingdom formally became a Chinese dependency in the 1300s and the association lasted nearly five centuries before Japan claimed it as a prefecture in 1879.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Okinawa governor rejects US base relocation plan

The governor of Japan's southern island of Okinawa on Saturday rejected a compromise plan to relocate a US Marine base, raising a fresh hurdle to wrapping up an overall deal on reorganizing US military forces in Japan.

Okinawa governor Keiichi Inamine said he had told Defense Minister Fukushiro Nukaga he would not accept the government's proposal to relocate the US Marines' Futenma air base on the subtropical island, about 1,600 km (1,000 miles) south of Tokyo.

"In order to maintain the solid Japan-US structure, it is essential to secure social and political stability in Okinawa," Inamine told reporters after holding talks with Nukaga.

The governor's rejection follows an agreement on Friday between the central government and a rural city on Okinawa to relocate the US Marine base.

Inamine can legally block the relocation plan because he has the authority over the use of the ocean where the central government wants to relocate the base.

Full Story

Govt looks to persuade Okinawa on U.S. base transfer

The government is willing to take time to win the support of Okinawa Prefecture for a plan to build a new air base at the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Schwab on the island prefecture, Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya said Monday.

There is still plenty of time to win over the prefecture on the plan, Moriya said, adding that reclamation work, which requires the approval of the Okinawa governor, will not begin until after construction progresses on a land area.

The new facility will be built along the coast at Camp Schwab in the city of Nago.

The Defense Agency is expected to start reclamation work about three years after construction starts for the air base.

The facility is designed to allow the Marine Corps to vacate and return the site of Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, southern Okinawa, to Nago as the two countries agreed in 1996.

The Futenma station is located in the heart of Ginowan and has been a constant source of friction with local residents.

The agency hopes to transfer the helicopter unit at Futenma to Camp Schwab before the new facility is completed, by first creating enough space for helicopter operations at the camp.

Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine is against the relocation, but Nago Mayor Yoshikazu Shimabukuro expressed his support for the plan in his talks with Defense Minister Fukushiro Nukaga on Friday.

The minister and the mayor agreed to modify the original plan and build two runways so that planes using them will not fly over the city''s residential areas.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Okinawa Forum

I have created a new Okinawa Forum. Registration is free. I will be asking visitors to leave when, and where, they were or are on Okinawa. The more people sign up, the better your chances are of finding an old friend. Feel free to let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to the forum.

I am using a free version of Invision Power Board right now, if the forum takes off I will switch to a paid version.

Okinawa Forum