Population: 1,439,913 (2016 census)
Okinawa Prefecture is located in the eastern part of the Asian continent, and is the most southwestern point of the Japanese archipelago, which is a chain of isolated islands. It is a prefecture of islands, comprising 160 large and small islands (over 0.01 square kilometres) which are located in a vast marine area of roughly 1,000 kilometres from east to west and roughly 400 kilometres from north to south.
Okinawa Prefecture has interacted with China on a cultural level in the past, for example, by establishing a sister-state relationship with the Chinese province of Fujian; exchanging high school students; and receiving official compilations of historical diplomatic documents (Rekidai Hōan) from China. Additionally, the Okinawa Prefectural Government takes pride in having boosted economic and tourism-related interactions with China by establishing offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei. Okinawa has drawn increasing numbers of Chinese tourists, has developed more channels for sales of its local goods, and air routes between Okinawa and China have expanded.
Okinawa’s economy has lagged behind the rest of the nation, with per capita income below — and unemployment above–the national averages. Also of importance: Okinawa has Japan’s only Special Free Trade Zone, and offers an array of tax and other financial incentives to promote business.
Fujian Province & Okinawa (since 1997)