Okinawa Island

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About Okinawa Island

  • Contained by: Japan
  • Time zone(s): Japan Standard Time
  • Events: Battle of Okinawa

Okinawa Island (沖縄本島, Okinawa-hontō, alternatively 沖縄島 Okinawa-jima; Okinawan: ウチナー Uchinaa; Nakijin: フチナー Fuchinaa) is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands of Japan, and is home to Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture. The island has an area of 1,201.03 square kilometers (463.72 sq mi). It is roughly 640 kilometres (400 mi) south of the rest of Japan. The island's population is known as the longest-lived people in the world; there are 34 centenarians per 100,000 people, which is more than three times the rate in the United States. The island of Okinawa was the site of most of the ground warfare in the Battle of Okinawa during World War II, when American Army and Marine Corps troops fought a long and bloody battle to capture Okinawa, so it could next be used as the major air force and troop base for the planned invasion of Japan. During this 82-day-long battle, about 95,000 Imperial Japanese Army troops and 12,510 Americans were killed, and in addition to these deaths, somewhere between 42,000 and 150,000 Okinawan civilians - approximately one quarter of the civilian population - were either killed or committed suicide. During the American military

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