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Naha. Photo: nahaport.jp

Naha, Okinawa

5 days ago
Written by Ronald Toppe
Ports > Naha, Okinawa

Naha, Okinawa

5 days agoPorts
Written by Ronald Toppe
Naha. Photo: nahaport.jp

Statsraad Lehmkuhl visits Naha September 24-28 2022

Naha is the largest city on Okinawa, the largest island in the southwesternmost archipelago of Japan.

Kokusai-dori, Naha. Photo: Wikimedia commons / 663highland
Kokusai-dori, Naha. Photo: Wikimedia commons / 663highland

Island kingdom

From the 14th century until the 19th century, the archipelago was part of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, an island kingdom with close ties to China, and was an important hub for shipping and trade in the East China Sea.

In the late 16th century, Japan gained increasing influence over Ryukyu. In 1609, Japan took control of the country, but it remained largely independent until 1879, when Ryukyu formally became part of Japan.

Okinawa. Photo: 663highland / Wikimedia Commons
Okinawa. Photo: 663highland / Wikimedia Commons

Returned in 1972

Okinawa was invaded by the United States at the end of World War II, and the American military retained control until 1950. Then a civilian American administration took over, and Okinawa was not returned to Japan until 1972. The US still has several military bases and large forces stationed on Okinawa.

The island of Okinawa is long, 106 kilometers from north to south. In the north there are mountains rising up to 525 meters, and most of the 1.4 million inhabitants live in the central and southern parts of the island. There they live densely, with more than 1,000 people per square kilometre.

Onna, Okinawa. Photo: Wvangeit / Wikimedia commons
Onna, Okinawa. Photo: Wvangeit / Wikimedia commons

Tourism

More than a third of the Okinawa archipelago is now protected, also to care for the marine mammal dugong, the flightless bird yanbaru kuina, the iriomote, a small feline of which there are only about a hundred left, and coconut crabs, which are true land crabs. Only the larvae live in the ocean, adult crabs drown in water.

A dugong. Photo: Gejuni / Wikimedia commons
A dugong. Photo: Gejuni / Wikimedia commons

Tourism is the most important source of income, but also the large proportion of American soldiers, 26,000 people, means a lot to the archipelago's economy.

Subtropical

Okinawa has a subtropical climate, hot and humid all year round, and receives 2161 millimeters of rainfall annually.

Normal maximum temperature in September: 30.6 ℃
Normal rainfall in September: 275 mm

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The One Ocean Expedition is a circumnavigation by the Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl. We aim to to share knowledge about the crucial role of the ocean for a sustainable development in a global perspective.

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