RYUKYU ISLANDS (OKINAWA)

Created: 6/1/1960

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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RYUKYU ISLANDS

(OKINAWA)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Basic2

(Geography; Population; Language; Economy)

II. 3

(Background; Form; Political Parties; Communism; Stability)

III. Problems and . . Page 4

(Land Use; Reversion to Japan)

IV. 5

V. 6

I.

DATA

3. Langauge: ariant of Japanese now unintel-

Geography: Island chain reaching from southern Kyushu, Japan, to withiniles of Taiwan. It consistsquare miles divided amongslands under US The Amami group, in the northernmost portion of the Ryukyuan archipelago, was returned to Japanhe largest island, Okinawa,quare miles, is the siteajor US military base, strategicallymidway down theiles from the Chinese Communist coast. The capital is Nana City, Okinawa. Nana's population.

Population: ithn Okinawa Island. Basically Mongoloid with Caucasoid and Malayan admixtures.eople to the square mile, Okinawa is one of the most densely populated non-metropolitan areas in the

the popular language. Japanese is the official andlanguage,f the people are estimated to be bilingual.

4. Economy: Operates on two distinct levels: he unviable basic domestic economy founded on subsistence agriculture, fishing, and forestry, whichf theut account forfhe "military-basehichf the working population andf the national income. Receipts from9 million in FY , principally sugar, amount to about one fourth offor8 million), but sales and services to US forces alone bring the Ryukyuan balance of payments into near equilibrium.

II. GOVERNMENT

1. Background: American control of the Japanese Ryukyubegan after the battle of Okinawa5 with the establishment of direct military government. When Japan regained Independencet retained "residualover the Ryukyus, but the US retainedauthority.

2' Form: The government of the Ryukyu Islands is semiautonomous, operating under the US Civil Administration for the Ryukyu Islands (USCAK) with US-appointed Chiefnicameral legislature elected by universal adult suffrage,udicial branch. All essential powers rest with the USCAR, headed by the High Commissioner, Lt. Gen. Donald P. Booth.

Political Parties: The conservative Okinawa Liberal Demo-criTic Party was formed in9erger of conservative forces in order toeats) inseat legislature. The moderate OkinawaMasses Party Is second ineats) and relies for support on strong grass-roots organization and popular appeal. The leftists are represented by the Liaison Council for the Protection of Democracy (Minren) and its parent party, the pro-Communist Okinawa People's Party. to the ouster of OPP leader Kamejiro Senaga as mayor of Naha and the settlement of the Okinawan land issue, pro-Communist influence has diminished although Minren presentlyeats in the legislature.

Communism: Party strength estimated atard-corective members.

Stability: The US Civil Administration and the presence of us forcestable foundation for the Ryukyuan

III. PROBLEMS AND ISSUES

Although the Ryukyuan economy haa never been self-sustaining, continued presence of US forces andtimulus to economic planning, growth,ising standard of living. Two related Issues rise from this presence:

Land Use: Ryukyuans resent US occupationf the total arable land ln the Islands, and this issue provides the most visible irritant to relations between USCAR and the local population. Although agitation results from any US attempt to acquire additional land, the issue haa been temporarily quieted by changing US paymentump sum for Indefinite leases to rental fees negotiated every five years. Connected to this issue is pacifist objection to Introduction of missiles, which alsoacquisition of additional land.

Reversion to Japan: Political developments are geared to obtaining the eventual reversion of the Islands torive for increased governmental autonomy, currently taking the form of agitation for election of the chief executive, la an early step toward this goal. Reversion would permit Ryukyuans to gain full citizenship rights and therefore is widely desired, despite the realization that the present higher standard of living wouldunder Japanese administration.

IV. BIOGRAPHIC

OTA, Seisaku; Chief Executive. Heative of Okinawaistunguished career in the Japanese civil service. Before World War II, he served on two occasionsudge in the Naha city courts. Hisposition in the Japanese service was as civilof the Pescadores Islands. He is one of the principal sponsores of the conservative Okinawa Liberal Democratic Party. Age:

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