Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Monday, February 08, 2010

Human bones found in Okinawa among oldest ever for Japan

Human bones found on one of islands the southern part of Okinawa prefecture dates as far back as around 20,000 years, putting them among the oldest ever found in Japan, it was announced on Feb. 4th.

The bones were first unearthed in 2007 on the island of Ishigaki, southwest of Okinawa Island, in an area that was being prepared to be converted into a small airport, the Mainichi reported.

Nine bones were found, but only six could be directly dated from extracted collagen samples, according to Jiji Press. Of those six, the oldest piece, which dates back 20,000 years, was part of the skull of a man in his 20s to 30s. A piece of an adult leg bone that was found dates back around 18,000 years. Another bone is calculated to be 15,000 years old. The remaining three are all from approximately 2,000 years ago.

The 20,000 year old piece is the oldest human bone in Japan to have been found and directly dated. This piece took over the record from bones found in the 1960s in Shizuoka Prefecture, west of Tokyo, that were directly dated to be 14,000 year old, Jiji Press reported. The actual oldest human remains found on Japanese territory were discovered on Okinawa Island and are believed, through indirect means, to be 32,000 years old.

Professor of Paleethnology Minoru Yoneda at Tokyo University told Mainichi reporters, “This provides support that humans lived on Ishigaki Island during the Paleolithic period. A large number of human bones likely still remain there. Furthermore, continuing detailed investigation will lead to clues on the search for the roots of the Japanese people.”

Monday, October 05, 2009

Typhoon Melor

Typhoon Melor spared Guam and Saipan its full wrath over the weekend, but could threaten the Kanto Plain area of Japan by mid-week.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Melor to curve sharply northeast at mid-morning Tuesday, skirting some 310 miles east of Okinawa and weaken as it heads toward cooler waters off mainland Japan.

It is forecast to track east of Tokyo, passing 55 miles southeast of Yokosuka Naval Base at 2 a.m. Thursday, packing sustained 80-mph winds and 100-mph gusts at its center.

Sunday morning Melor was a super typhoon spinning about 240 miles west-northwest of Saipan, packing sustained 167-mph winds and 200-mph gusts at its center — equal to a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic.

It is expected to pack sustained winds of 127 mph and 155-mph gusts when it turns toward the northeast on Tuesday.

National Weather Service officials on Guam reported gusts on the island of up to 38 mph and very little rain when Melor passed to the north overnight Saturday.

There were no immediate reports of damage at Air Force and Navy facilities on Guam.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cities Of The Underworld : Tunnels of Hell

The largest naval armada in U.S. history descended on the Japanese island of Okinawa in April of 1945. Instead of a swift victory for the American's it became the bloodiest battle of the Pacific. Much of the battle wasn't on land it was underneath it--from the beehive of combat tunnels to the caves where thousands of civilians hid. Join host Don Wildman as he discovers what it was like to live through the Battle of Okinawa. Watch as he delves into the subterranean tunnels, caves, and bunkers, and then dives to explore the lost naval destroyer sunken deep in the waters off Okinawa's coast.

Airs on the History channel Nov. 2 at 9pm.

History Channel

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tropical Storm Jangmi

Japan issued warnings for potentially damaging rains and flooding as Tropical Storm Jangmi headed across the East China Sea toward the islands of Okinawa and Kyushu.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Four Americans missing off Okinawa

A YACHT with four US citizens aboard went missing today in waters south of the East China Sea as Typhoon Jangmi pounded the area, the Japanese coast guard said.

The coast guard said it was searching for the yacht after its office on the southern Okinawa island received a radio distress signal overnight.

"We then confirmed it was a US-registered yacht, Jade Princess, with the US coast guard," the Japanese coast guard official said.

Four US citizens are aboard Jade Princess, which was sailing from Malaysia to Okinawa, the official said.

"We received the signal shortly before noon from a location some 83km south-southwest of Iriomote island," he said, referring to a small Japanese island near Taiwan.

The typhoon is the strongest to hit Taiwan this year. It is expected to reach Japan's Okinawa island chain by Wednesday, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency.

Jangmi, meaning "rose" in Korean, made landfall in Taiwan's north-eastern Ilan county around 5.40pm AEST yesterday, according to local officials.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tropical Storm Sinlaku

Tropical Storm Sinlaku, which left seven people dead when it battered Taiwan as a typhoon, moved back over open water and was forecast to strengthen on its approach to the southern islands of Japan.

Sinlaku was located over the South China Sea about 300 kilometers (186 miles) north-northeast of the Japanese island of Miyako with maximum sustained winds of 74 kilometers per hour at 3 p.m.

Sinlaku's winds were gusting to 111 kph as the storm slowly headed east-northeast away from Taiwan. The storm's sustained winds are expected to strengthen to 93 kph, with gusts to 130 kph, by tomorrow as it swings to the east and heads for the Okinawa island chain, Japan's weather agency said.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Panel to investigate Okinawa reversion

A panel is to probe whether the 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty from the United States was carried out fairly, a lawyer says.

The investigation next month comes amid suspicion that there was a secret deal, the Kyodo news agency reported Sunday.

A 1971 document declassified by the U.S. government is believed to show Japan secretly shouldered $4 million in costs the United States was supposed to pay to restore Okinawa's land to its original state.

"The government must store copies of the documents, and we will demand that it make them open to the public by presenting the government with the duplicates of the released documents," said Kazuo Hizumi, a Tokyo lawyer representing the panel.

The investigative group was formed after the Tokyo High Court in February rejected a lawsuit filed by a former reporter convicted in the 1970s over his news-gathering about the Okinawa reversion.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Super Typhoon Rammasun

As of Saturday afternoon, EDT, the storm was centered near 17.5 north and 132.1 east, or approximately 600 miles south-southeast of Naha, on the island of Okinawa. Rammasun has strengthened rapidly over the past 24 hours and is now a super typhoon with sustained winds of 155 mph with gusts as high as 190 mph. The storm is moving to the north at 15 mph, and this motion is expected to continue over the next 24 hours. The storm currently looks very impressive on satellite imagery with a concentric tight eyewall and well-defined spiral banding over much of the storm.

Rammasun continues to avoid land as it moves almost due north across the open waters of the eastern Philippine Sea. The storm is currently moving along the western edge of a subtropical ridge located to the east of the the typhoon. However, the storm is expected to turn more to the northeast early next week and could be a threat to Chichi Jima and Iwo To; whether or not this verifies depends on the timing of the storm's turn to the northeast. A sharper northeast shift would take it very close to these islands; a less drastic turn or a continuous northerly path would take it close to mainland Japan.

The storm has reached its peak intensity as a super typhoon. When storms reach this intensity, often times eyewall replacement cycles will slow down strengthening and possibly cause some weakening. However, subtle fluctuations in strength are possible the next 24 hours with the chance of the storm reaching the 160-mph wind mark. The storm is expected to begin to weaken later Sunday and into Monday EDT as the storm moves farther north over an area of cooler weather and increasing wind shear.

Monday, May 05, 2008

5.2 earthquake jolts Okinawa

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 jolted Miyako Island, Okinawa Prefecture, and its vicinity early Monday, the Meteorological Agency said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the 2:32 a.m. quake, and no tsunami warning was issued. The quake measured 4 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 on several parts of the island, according to the agency.

Full story

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Disney unveils glimpses of animation series in Japan

The Japanese version of Disney’s original Lilo and Stitch is being jointly produced by Japan based mid-sized studio Madhouse and Walt Disney.

The original Lilo and Stitch series told of the bonding between the orphan girl Lilo and a little blue alien named Stitch on the lush Hawaiian island of Kauai.

The local version has a Japanese girl skilled at karate and set on a fictional island in Japan's subtropical southern chain of Okinawa.

In the three-minute pilot version, the girl, tentatively named Hanako, and other characters dance to the tunes of traditional Okinawan music while eating a bowl of rice with chopsticks.

A Japanese adaptation of Lilo and Stitch will kick off in late 2008.