(1)Japanese Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features Development Team Principal Investigator : Paper Coordinator : Content Writer : Content Reviewer : Prof

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Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

Development Team Principal Investigator :

Paper Coordinator : Content Writer : Content Reviewer :

Prof. Anita Khanna

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Prof. H.S. Prabhakar

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Prof. H.S. Prabhakar & Mr. Arnab Das Gupta

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Prof. Konsam Ibo Singh

Manipur University, Imphal Paper No. : 11 Japanese History and Society

Module : 01 Japan’s Geographical Features



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

Description of Module

Subject Name Japanese

Paper Name Japanese History and Society Module title Japan’s Geographical Features Module ID JPN-P11-M01

Quadrant 1 E-Text



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

Japan’s Geographical Features

Aims of this Module

The present module aims to introduce you, the student, to the basic features of Japan’s geography, the prominent geographical characteristics of Japan as a territory and its component regions as well as the impact this has on human geography (i.e. human settlement, distribution and urbanization). By the end of this module you will be able to identify key geographical regions, their distinctive characteristics and the ways in which they influence the Japanese people’s lives, work and ideas.


The archipelago of Japan is a landmass stretching from 24 degrees to 46 degrees latitude and 123 degrees to 146 degrees longitude, encompassing the Tropic of Cancer in the north to the Equator in the south. The Japanese group of islands is surrounded on all sides by water bodies; it is separated from the Asian mainland by the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, from Oceania and the North American mainland by the Pacific Ocean, and from Russia by the Sea of Okhotsk.

The entirety of Japan consists of over 3000 islands of varying size arranged from north to south in a curved scimitar shape, leading to its self-identification as hosonagai shimaguni (long and narrow island nation).



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

Map 1: Map of Japan. Source: https://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Japan/fact-map-japan.html

The principal Japanese islands, where habitation is very highly densest, are the four islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. The Okinawa island chain, to the south of Kyushu, forms the unofficial ‘fifth’ main island, though the Okinawas (then called the Ryukyus) enjoyed a separate politico-geographic existence until the 19th century when it was amalgamated into the Japanese territorial order. Aside from the five main island groups, Japan also enjoys territorial control over several tiny islets in the Pacific ocean littoral, while its territorial control of the Liancourt Islands (Japanese: Senkaku Islands, Chinese: Diaoyutai, Taiwanese: Tiaoyutai) is challenged by both the ROC (Taiwan) and the PRC (China). Simultaneously, Japan is in the midst of a territorial conflict with South Korea, which maintains an (illegal according to Japan) occupation over the disputed Takeshima / Dokdo island chain in the Sea of Japan. The term Sea of Japan itself is under dispute between ROK and Japan. Other island chains controlled by Japan include the Bonin Islands/Ogasawara Islands (which were acquired by the accession of the Okinawa islands), Awaji, Daitou Islands, Okinotorishima etc. In all, Japan’s total area stands at 377,915 sq.km., of which a major port is land.



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

The climate of the Japanese islands varies from sub-zero temperatures in the far north to subtropical weather in Okinawa and points south. Most of Hokkaido and Honshu remains snowbound during the winter, which lasts from late October to March. The other important seasons are: summer (June-September), spring (March-April) and autumn (September-October).

As we shall see below, not all areas receive an equal dose of these seasons, which results in significant variation in local temperature and humidity patterns.

The general terrain of Japan is rugged and mountainous, which has exerted important effects on the history of human habitation and development of a civilization there. Only 11.26% of Japan’s total terrain is cultivable, which meant that agriculture was never a significant part of Japan’s bounty. In the early ages, before international trade and commerce made the world interconnected and interdependent, most of Japan’s farmers engaged in subsistence agriculture, which means they were engaged in the production of crops that a) were necessary for consumption by human beings, and b) could only be produced in quantities which were enough for domestic consumption by the farmer’s family and surplus for taxes to the government. By contrast, since the sea surrounds Japan on all sides, fisheries were an important occupation of Japanese people. The overwhelming occurrence of fish-based dishes in Japan’s traditional cuisine can be traced back to this fact.

The paucity of smooth terrain in the Japanese archipelago has also generated significant impact on the pattern of historical development among the Japanese people. Originally from the Asian mainland, early Japanese migrated into the archipelago when it was still connected to Asia by land bridges at the end of the last Ice Age. Since then, Japanese populations have preferred to occupy the few areas where settlement is feasible. This has historically implied significant overcrowding in certain areas, a fact borne out even now by satellite imagery showing the urban centres of the world. Cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto and Fukuoka are even today among the most densely populated in the world, with average densities regularly reaching a whopping 11,300 persons per square mile (2012 figures) in the case of Tokyo. Much more surprising is the fact that this density is not followed by increasing size of the city (its area).

Unlike South Asian cities, Japan’s cities are relatively stationary in terms of urban sprawl,



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

though some cities like Osaka and Yokohama are now aggressively using land filling to create more land. Therefore, almost all of Japan’s major cities qualify as megapolises (i.e. urban areas with populations of more than 10 million persons).

Politically, Japan is divided into eight regions: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu. These regions cover the 47 prefectures (states) of Japan, which are classified in the so-called todofuken system. The todofuken, in order, are: Tokyo-to (Tokyo City Ward, akin to Delhi-NCR); Hokkaido (Northern Sea State), Osaka-fu (Osaka Special Administrative Area) and 44 prefectures (ken). These are further subdivided into municipalities (machi or gun), cities (shi) and wards (ku). In this chapter we will consider the general features of the regional and prefectural topography, since a city-by-city or ward-by-ward study would prove to be exhaustive in the extreme.


Map 2. Hokkaido. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Hokkaido.jpg

The island of Hokkaido is the northernmost extremity of the Japanese ‘Home Islands’.

Surrounded by the Siberian Kamchatka peninsula in the north, Hokkaido (capital: Sapporo) is a



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

island of extreme winter, where temperature drop to below zero and stay there for most of the year. In contrast to the rest of Japan, it gets little rain and almost no humidity. The island is mostly riven by mountains and permafrost in the far north near Nemuro.

Hokkaido is famous for its great ecological beauty; several species of native and migratory flora and fauna make it an environmental paradise. Several national parks have been set up by the Japanese government to enable protection of this eco-diversity while allowing visitors to enjoy the sight of animals and plants in their native habitation. The most famous of these is Shiretoko National Park (shiretoko kokuritsu kouen), which houses the famous brown bears of Japan along with dense forests of Sakhalin fir, Mongolian oak and Siberian Dwarf Pine. Also famous are Akan and Daisetsuzan National Parks, known for volcanic caldera and hot springs.

The human geography of Hokkaido is also the most interesting for students of Japan at large.

Hokkaido can be said to be the site of the oldest occupation in Japan by human populations.

Ancestors of today’s Ainu settled on Hokkaido around 20,000 years ago, long before so-called

‘pure Japanese’ settled there. It is estimated by some scholars that the Ainu may in fact have occupied much of northern Honshu during the early years of settlement, but were driven north by encroaching bands of proto-Mongoloid populations who came to Japan from the mainland, who called the land Ezochi. Since then the Ainu have been progressively herded deeper and deeper into the island, their population co-opted by the majority Yamato people and their separate identity quashed by successive regimes in the south. It was only in the 1980s that the Japanese Diet passed laws to protect Ainu culture, heritage and racial lineage, accepting them as First People of Japan.

The Ainu were hunter-gatherers for most of their existence, settling down to sedentary occupations like farming only after coming under the occupation of the shoguns. Their lives were poor and violent, because the Yamato (i.e. Asian) Japanese oppressed them to a significant extent. Even now, Hokkaido offers little to the Japanese national economy. Light industry exists, but the greatest contribution Hokkaido makes to the rest of Japan is in terms of agricultural produce. Since Hokkaido has one-fourth of Japan’s total reserves of cultivable land, a wide range



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

of crops, such as wheat, soybeans, potatoes, beetroot, onions, pumpkins and corn is produced.

Raw milk and beef are also a staple item, thanks to extensive dairy husbandry. Timber is also produced in Hokkaido, to the tune of 22% of total stocks. These days, the Japanese government has aggressively promoted tourism, particularly alpine and winter tourism (with activities like skiing, kayaking and mountaineering), in the region.


Map 3. Tohoku. Source: http://www.jnto.go.jp/ja-search/eng/index.php

Tohoku is a general regional term used to designate the north-eastern prefectures of Honshu island (hence the name Tohoku= To (east) + Hoku (north)), which are: Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata. It is known for its scenery, as well as its harsh weather which is influenced by its proximity to Siberia and Hokkaido in the north. It is often divided into a northern and a southern half.

Tohoku is predominantly hilly or mountainous, containing the Ou mountains. A few lowlands exist, which have been the cradle of the birth of Tohoku’s major cities, like Sendai. Traditionally considered the granary of Japan because of its pivotal role in supplying a significant portion of Japan’s rice needs, Tohoku was also the site of Japan’s post-WWII economic development,



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

when the government allocated iron, steel, cement, chemical, pulp and petroleum refining industries to the region in the 1960s. More recently, this area became the victim of the devastating tsunami-earthquake that hit Japan on 26 March 2011. The cities of Fukushima (where the reactor meltdown occurred), Sendai and Akita were nearly destroyed by the Triple Disaster.

The Tohoku region as mentioned above is known for its natural beauty as well as its importance to Japan’s economy. The ancient regions of Mutsu and Dewa, frequently cited in ancient and medieval literatures, live on in the natural locations of the region. Mount Bandai (1816 m) still threatens visitors with a portent of quiet menace, with memories of its last eruption in 1888 still preserved in picture scrolls drawn by the famous artist Tankei. Now preserved as a geo park (designated in 2011) as part of the Bandai-Asahi National Park, Bandai is now used to climbers using one of seven routes to reach the top. Aside from Bandai, Tohoku is also home to the Three Mountains of Dewa (Dewa Sanzan; Mts. Haguro, Gassan and Yudono), considered holy by Shintoists and fans of Matsuo Basho alike; Mt. Iwaki (also called Tsugaru Fuji); the rivers Kitakami and Oirase; the islands of Matsushima Bay; the coastline of Sanriku and the incongruously named Miss Veedol Beach, a rather gaudy piece of advertising.

Tohoku has been occupied by humans since the prehistoric era, when Ainu populations occupied much of the area. The Yamato Japanese drove the Ainu back north over the course of several hundred, finally establishing themselves in the area by the ninth century. Due to its distance from centres of power, the region remained often outside the prevue of law and order as set up by regimes in Kyoto. Only by the 17th century was Tohoku brought back into the Japanese political system. Despite attempts since then by successive governments to develop the area, this region has seen a significant loss of population in recent years, with some areas being entirely denuded of working populations. Today, Miyagi prefecture is the only prefecture in the region which can claim a stable population with urbanised lifestyles.


Kanto can rightfully be called the cradle of modern Japanese civilisation, since it is the region



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

where recent history’s defining moments have taken place. Covering seven prefectures, plus the Greater Tokyo City area, Kanto is the richest region of Japan in terms of cultural heritage and natural beauty. This is mostly due to the fact 45 percent of Kanto is flat land, suitable for agriculture, habitation and city-building. Even now, Kanto is the most densely populated region in Japan, despite advancements in communication, transportation and architecture. Like Tohoku, Kanto can be subdivided into North (Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma Prefectures) and South Kanto (Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa prefectures and Tokyo City) areas.

Map 4: Kanto. Source: http://www.jnto.go.jp/restaurant-search/eng/index.php

Kanto, as noted above, is the most flat area of Japan, which means it is also a centre of agriculture, especially rice. Surprisingly, however, it is also the site for Japan’s most famous industries. Tokyo-Yokohama city boasts more than half of these industrial areas, with the wide

‘spine’ along the Tokyo Bay playing host to heavy and light industries of every kind. Even now, if one takes the Hikari or Nozomi Shinkansen (bullet trains) across Kanto, one sees on both sides a persistent succession of factories belching smoke and steam from gigantic stacks reared almost to the skies.



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

In addition to industry, Kanto is also home to the Japanese government, which, as we know, sits in the national capital of Tokyo. Institutions of Japanese democracy, such as the National Diet, Supreme Court, Central government ministries (in Kasumigaseki in Tokyo) as well as the Imperial Palace, are all housed in the environs of the capital, which enjoys pre-eminence as the largest and most densely packed city in the world. Other cities, such as Kawasaki (Kanagawa), Saitama (Saitama) and Chiba (Chiba) are lesser orders of magnitude along the list, but are densely packed had direct and close ties to the capital. This can most clearly be seen in the crowds on major railway stations at the beginning and end of each workday, as ‘salarymen’

(sarariman) wait for shuttles and Shinkansens that take them on hours-long journeys back to their home in satellite cities and far-flung suburbs.

Kanto has had a long history in terms of human settlement. Edo-machi, a city on the banks of the river Sumida, was the heartland of shogunal power during the Tokugawa (1603-1868) era. After the Meiji Restoration (1868), Edo, now renamed Tokyo (Eastern Capital; To=east + Kyo=city, capital), became the official seat of government, finance, industry and culture. Since then Tokyo has had an exciting history, standing witness to the Great Kanto Earthquake (1923), the February 26 Coup (1936), the Tokyo Air Raid and the surrender of Japan (1945), the Olympics (1960) signifying Japan’s revival and most recently the 2011 earthquake that devastated northern Honshu.



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features Chubu

Map 5: Chubu. Source: http://japaneseinngroup.com/accommodations/chubu-hokuriku.html

The only region more aggressively given over to industry than Kanto is Chubu, which covers the central Honshu region and consists of nine prefectures (Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi and (in some sources Mie). Situated at the widest part of Honshu, the terrain of Chubu is rugged and mountainous. It is generally subdivided into three parts: Toukai (Aichi, Mie, Shizuoka and Gifu prefectures), Koushinetsu (Yamanashi, Nagano and Niigata prefectures) and Hokuriku (Ishikawa, Fukui, Niigata and Toyama).

Chubu is popular in Japan and around the world for being the region that contains the eternal symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji. This dormant volcano can be seen through the windows of any bullet train heading to or from Tokyo and Osaka. However, within Japan, Chubu’s importance has been historically grounded in the ease by which one can reach the megapolises of Osaka and Tokyo. In ancient times, before bullet trains and instant communication, the Tokai highway (Toukaido) ran across the region, connecting Kanto to Kansai, finance to power, government to subjects. Now, all three bullet trains run on those ancient highways; the recent (April 2015)



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

addition to that fleet, which broke the world land speed record to become the fastest train in the world, will also run on this route.

Chubu is known in the world of agriculture for the cultivation of some staple vegetables, mandarin oranges and tea. However, its prominent claim to fame is in manufacturing and heavy industry, epitomised by the city on Ise Bay, Nagoya. Apart from the high-technology industries, Chubu is also a central location for precision instruments, machinery, textiles, food processing, and iron and steel manufacture. The Hokuriku area, which has many rivers flowing through it, is a site for abundant hydroelectric power, while Niigata Prefecture produces some oil and gas. The region also contributes to globalisation by way of a number of seaports facing the Asian mainland, which carry high-quality Japanese manufactures to Russia, Korea and China.

Kansai (Kinki)

Map 6: Kansai. Source: http://alwaysimages.com/i/g/http-39174-75424-75424traverseworld-30365com- 75424img-75424map-75424map-65422Kyoto-65422and-65422Kansai-30365png/maps-of-


The Kanto region’s direct antithesis is the Kansai region of Japan. Where Kanto represents the modern face of Japan, Kansai represents the ancient past. Whereas the Kanto dialect of Japanese



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

is staid, formal and unhurried, Kansai Japanese (Kansai-ben) is fast, almost rude in its hard pronunciation and rapid-fire. Located in the south-central part of Honshu island, Kansai is made up of seven prefectures: Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Hyougo, Shiga and Osaka Administrative District. Together these seven represent the economic powerhouse of traditional Japan.

Kansai is at its heart a vast plain land (called the Osaka plain), in which are housed the storied cities of Osaka and Kyoto. Abutting the plain in the west in the Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai), while in the west lies Lake Biwa (Biwa-kou), Japan’s largest freshwater lake. In the north the region is touched by the Sea of Japan, in the south by the Kii Peninsula and in the east by Ise Bay.

The significance of Kansai in Japan’s history and ecology can be guessed by the fact that it contains four national parks within it, as well as six of the seven most prolific prefectures in terms of national heritage monuments.

The history of Kansai is too old to narrate. People have lived here since the ancient ages. Kyoto is one of the oldest cities of the world, and was the capital of Japan until the Edo period. Nara is even older, and preceded Kyoto as the capital of imperial Japan; it is the only other city to have given its name to a historical period in Japan. Osaka has been preeminent throughout Japanese history as a centre of commerce, trade and mercantilism. Kobe remains one of the most cosmopolitan cities of Japan, more progressive in its cultural achievements than even the capital.

Kansai prides itself on its food, on its niche cuisines (Kobe beef is produced here, as is the best Fushimi saké), and even on its baseball teams, the Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes. Castle towns such as Himeji, Yokkaichi, and Osaka itself are the pride of Kansai residents everywhere, as are the sites of the legendary kofun (burial mounds) which give their name to a historical period in Japanese history.



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features Chugoku

Map 7: Chugoku. Source: http://www.jnto.go.jp/ja-search/eng/index.php

Surrounded by the Kanto, Kansai and Chubu regions, one would expect Chugoku to have a history commensurate with its location. However, this southernmost region of Honshu island has a less than spectacular past. In fact, its name Chugoku is written with the same characters as those used for the People’s Republic of China, which must surely cause some consternation and crisis in the minds of its residents (!). This region, comprised of Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Shimane and Tottori Prefectures, is nowadays often called Sanin-Sanyo, based on the location of the nearest sea (Sanin is close to the Sea of Japan, Sanyo closer to Seto Naikai).

The region is mostly an area of rolling hills, with the limited plains divided by mountainous ranges crisscrossing the region right down the middle. Fishing used to be the principal occupation of Chugoku residents, but pollution and overfishing has closed that door to them for quite a few years. Sanyo is now an area of industrial production, whereas Sanin still concentrates on agriculture. In history, Chugoku rises into focus only once; its leading city is Hiroshima, the



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

first city to be bombed by a nuclear weapon on 6 August 1945. Modern Hiroshima is a city of decent size, and houses several industrial plants.


Map 8: Shikoku. Source: http://www.itcj.or.jp/heartyinn_search/eng/shikoku_region

The third island in the Japanese home chain of islands is Shikoku, which is to the south and east of Honshu. It is the smallest and least populous of the four Japanese islands. Comprised of four prefectures (Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi and Tokushima), Shikoku is a far cry from the bustling metropolises of Kanto or Kansai.

Shikoku’s natural topography is interesting in that it is neatly bisected in half by a mountain range running east to west. The resulting northern part, which faces Seto Naikai, is a lowland area, where significant populations reside. The southern half is denuded of people, and contains little of interest to those looking for natural beauty. The north is aggressively utilised by its people for everything it produces; the Besshi copper mine generates Japan’s copper reserves,



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

while alluvial land to the northeast are used to produce rice, wheat, barley, persimmons, citrus fruits, peaches and grapes. In the south, by contrast, two crops of rice and a few vegetables grown under plastic sheeting are the only natural bounty the land offers. However, the south is the centre for Japan’s pulp and paper industry, which uses the abundant timber reserves of the area to its advantage. The Yoshino river is the lifeline of Shikoku, and its rough rapids are now being promoted by the Japanese government as sites for white water rafting and other riverside excursions. Mount Ishizuchi is the highest mountain of Shikoku.

In terms of human habitation, Shikoku is most famous domestically for the 88 temples in its territory, which were said to have been visited by the father of Japanese kana, Kukai. Tokushima Prefecture’s Awa Odori (Barley Dance) festival also attracts significant numbers of tourists.

Shikoku’s place on the global map is cemented however by the pop culture connect: Kishimoto Masashi, the creator of the wildly-popular Naruto, was born in Okayama prefecture, just across the inland sea, and was inspired by several aspects of his proximity to Shikoku, including the name Naruto itself, which is the name of a famous whirlpool which occurs frequently in the Inland Sea. Another important export of Shikoku to global culture is udon, a hot noodle soup served with a range of delicious toppings like tempura, abura-age (deep-fried tofu pockets) and kamaboko (a fish cake). Sanuki udon, found in Kagawa prefecture, is particularly famous throughout the world.



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features Kyushu

Map 9: Kyushu. Source: http://www.jnto.go.jp/ja-search/eng/index.php

The most south-westerly island of Japan’s home islands is Kyushu, the third largest island of Japan. Known for its subtropical climates, volcanic activity and historical value, Kyushu is made up of six prefectures (Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Kagoshima and Miyazaki), plus Okinawa, which is also included in the region.

Kyushu’s subtropical climate is particularly suitable for the cultivation of several crops, the most major of which as rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, soy and silk. Thanks to the presence of hot mud throughout the island due to frequent geothermal activity, Kyushu is also home to the rare porcelains of Arita, Imari, Satsuma and Karatsu. Fukuoka and its surroundings are the home of heavy industry, particularly the automobile and semiconductor industries. Volcanoes are a significant presence in Kyushu, with Japan’s most active volcano, Mt. Aso, present on the island.

This volcanic activity has also produced corollary phenomena: hot springs, such as Beppu, are a common sight.



Japanese History and Society Japan’s Geographical Features

In history, Kyushu occupies a significant place. Though populations today are dwindling, Kyushu was once a bustling trade centre. During the Edo period, when the Exclusion Edict (Sakokurei) prohibited foreigners from entering, the port of Dazaifu in Kyushu was the centre of trade with Chinese and Dutch merchants, a thin thread connecting Japan to the world. Later, Nagasaki became forever marked by the foreign presence in Japan, with Dutchtowns still extant for tourists to see. The marks on Nagasaki’s body were also scars; it was the second city to be bombed with American nuclear weapons on 9 August 1945. Today Nagasaki is one of the largest cities of the island, and remains important symbolically.

Map 10: Okinawa. Source: http://www.fecielo.com/okinawa-island-japan/

Okinawa is also worth considering while dealing with Japan’s geography, because this set of islands is the only tropical area in Japan. Originally settled by Polynesian peoples in prehistory, Okinawa (then known as Ryukyu) had a developmental trajectory independent of the ‘mainland’



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(which is what the Okinawans call Japan). Early on, the Ryukyu kingdom gave tribute to the Chinese emperor, and maintained relations with China until the absorption of the islands by Japan in the early Meiji period (1868-1912). Since then, Okinawa has been at the centre piece of many historical ups and downs: it was the site of the bloodiest battle of the Second World War, as well as the site of a host of American bases down to the present. The bases are a very real presence in Okinawa, and many Okinawans believe the Japanese government has deliberately ignored their welfare and development because the bases exist to remind them of their historical failure to defend the homeland during WWII. Their claims gain weight when one realises that the US bases provide livelihoods to most of the islands’ residents, and traditional agriculture as well as natural eco-diversity have been significantly impacted by the sights and sounds of military equipment and personnel. Still, Okinawa remains a major producer of sugar cane, pineapple, papaya and other tropical fruit, besides being a major tourist destination for its coral reefs.





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