Relocating to Okinawa?
Destination Guide for Okinawa Prefecture Japan, including a brief overview of Okinawa with some pictures and information about expat-related facilities.
We hope this information will be a valuable resource to expats coming to or currently residing in Okinawa, as well as the HR department of foreign companies.
Okinawa Destination Guide
Okinawa Prefecture lies at the far west end of Japan and consists of 363 islands that are around Okinawa’s main Island. It is blessed with an abundance of sightseeing and resort resources. Okinawa has a rich natural environment, a subtropical oceanic climate, and a unique culture and history. Okinawa attracts more than 7,900,000 visitors a year, making it the center of marine related tourism in Japan. In addition, Okinawa is the only place that designates "Special Economic Zones" in Japan, allowing preferential treatment regarding national and local taxes as well as duties.
Many US bases have been located on Okinawa Island since after WWII. Restaurants and housing near the base have encouraged the westernization of the meals and the everyday life its neighboring residents. Okinawa has prospered as a base of trade and intermediate trade with the Asian countries in the past. Okinawa, using its geographical advantage of being located in the center of East Asia, is very positive about supporting the economic development of Japan and other surrounding Asian countries. Okinawa aims to be the international hub city of Asia by inviting domestic and foreign companies as well as improving its business environment.
Okinawa has the Far East's largest US base and more than 50,000 foreign military and civilian residents as well. There are many private houses for foreigners including those for U.S. military officials near the bases. There are also international schools and English speaking medical facilities allowing foreign residents who don’t speak Japanese to live without worry.
The city office for the prefectural capital Naha, as well as other local city offices, provide a guidebook and consultation services about residence procedures and guidance for daily living. Various activities for international exchange and international personnel training also take place. Okinawa Prefecture, known as a place for sightseeing and its military base, is now challenging themselves to become a paradise for business by establishing a “Special Economic Zone" and improving its economic environment for investment.
Useful Links for Expats in Okinawa
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