NHK poll: over 80% of Okinawans have a positive view of reversion

Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the return of southwestern Okinawa Prefecture to Japan from post-war American rule. An NHK poll found that over 80% of Okinawans have a positive view of reversion.

NHK conducted the investigation in February and March. He contacted 1,800 people aged 18 or older in Okinawa Prefecture, and 812, or 45.1 percent, of them responded.

When asked how familiar they were with the fact that Okinawa was under American rule after World War II, 28% said they knew it very well and 49% said they knew it in some certain extent. Twenty percent said they knew a little, while 3% said they didn’t know at all.

Seventy-three percent said they knew Okinawa was returned to Japan on May 15, while 27% said they did not know.

Asked what they think of Okinawa’s reversion looking back on the past 50 years, 39% said it was very good that it happened and 45% said it was good to some extent . Twelve percent said it was not very good, while 2% said it was not good at all.

Of those who expressed a positive view of the reversion, 50% said it was because it was favorable for Okinawa to be part of Japan. Twenty-two percent said Okinawa’s economy had grown, and 13 percent said trade with other prefectures and countries had increased. Eight percent said Okinawa’s will was now respected and 4% said progress had been made in returning land used by US bases.

Of those who expressed a negative view of the reversion, 44% said it was because Okinawa’s will is currently not being respected. Forty percent said US bases remained in Okinawa, 6% said nature was disappearing due to tourism development and other factors. Three percent said there was less opportunity to experience American culture, and 2 percent said traditional Okinawan culture was being lost.

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