50 Years On: Okinawa Economy Driven by Tourism, Unique Culture


Naha, Okinawa Pref., May 12 (Jiji Press)--The economy of Okinawa Prefecture has continued to grow since its reversion to Japan in 1972 from U.S. occupation, chiefly led by the tourism industry and public works projects.

The local service industry targeting visitors to the southernmost Japan prefecture has flourished, with Okinawa's rich natural environment and unique culture attracting many people.

The number of eateries and bars per population of 1,000 is the highest in Okinawa among the country's 47 prefectures. Distinctive features of the prefecture's economy also include active entrepreneurship and a high number of female corporate presidents.

Nominal gross product in Okinawa totaled 4,505.6 billion yen in fiscal 2018, up 9.8-fold from 459.2 billion yen in fiscal 1972 and marking higher growth than the 5.8-fold increase recorded for the whole of the country over the same period.

The central government has spent a total of some 13 trillion yen in state money on the development of Okinawa, helping rev up the local economy. Still, per capital income in the prefecture is the lowest among the 47 prefectures, standing at 70 pct of the national average.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press