Okinawa

Is Japan’s Peace Constitution Dead?

Japan has functioned under its “peace constitution” for nearly 70 years. The distinctive Article 9, which prevents the country from conducting war as a means of resolving international conflict, is showing its age.

Japan’s Uneven Conservation Efforts

Efforts to protect the critically endangered Iriomote wildcat, a spotted, shy, feral creature native to the tiny Iriomote Island that forms part of the Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan, are becoming a highly respected model of conservation here, where the government’s uneven track record in protecting imperiled species has frustrated wildlife activists for decades.

Militarised Island Seeks Makeover

The island of Okinawa has long been known as the base camp for a majority of the United States’ 50,000 troops in Japan. But now, against the backdrop of escalating nuclear threats from North Korea, local leaders are pushing hard to promote this island – the largest of 60 that comprise Japan’s southern prefecture – and its surrounding islets as a lucrative site for commercial enterprises.

Opposition to U.S. Bases Reaches Turning Point

Okinawa, the largest of a group of 60 sub-tropical islands forming Japan’s southernmost prefecture, has an equable climate and preferential treatment for United States servicemen under the Mutual Cooperation Security Treaty between the U.S. and Japan.