Chiyomi Sumida

Japanese soldier’s ID notebook returns to family on Okinawa after 7 decades

As Okinawans marked the 72nd anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, a war artifact belonging to a Japanese soldier killed in the bloody conflict was returned to his family after more than seven decades.

Reports: Okinawa governor planning new lawsuit opposing Futenma relocation

The governor of Okinawa is preparing another lawsuit challenging the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to a remote part of the island, according to multiple Japanese media reports.

Kadena airman arrested following crash

A 24-year-old airman assigned to Kadena Air Base was arrested following a hit-and-run crash, police officials said.


Caring for tombs warms tense relationship between US military and Okinawans

Over the past couple of years, U.S. and Japanese servicemembers and their families have worked to clear thick jungle brush from the trails, and base access has been arranged for locals who want to pay their respects.

Drone spotted with Chinese ships in Japan’s territorial waters

Four Chinese government vessels — accompanied by what appeared to be an aerial drone — entered Japanese territorial waters near a contested island group Thursday, just weeks after the last intrusion in the East China Sea.

Sailor, airman on motorcycle killed in head-on collision on Okinawa

A sailor and an airman were killed after a head-on collision between a motorcycle and a car Thursday night in Chatan town, Okinawa, U.S. military officials said.

Water shortages, rationing may be in the cards for Okinawa

Reservoir levels at their second lowest in a decade could mean water rationing throughout Okinawa — including at military bases — if this year’s rainy season delivers a low yield.

Bali Noon Bali Moon in Okinawa City offers a fine taste of Balinese cuisine

A sure way to learn about any country and its people is to eat the cuisine it takes pride in. My recent visit to Bali Noon Bali Moon, Balinese restaurant in Okinawa City, renewed that belief.

Okinawa tourism officials want waterfall off-limits to US military after death

Okinawan officials are working to keep the U.S. military community away from Aha Falls — a spot popular with servicemembers and tourists for hiking and cliff jumping — in the wake of an airman’s tragic death over the weekend.

Chinese coast guard group enters Japanese territorial waters

Four Chinese government vessels — including one with what appeared to be a gun turret — entered Japanese territorial waters near a contested island group Monday, the latest in a series of challenges to Japanese sovereignty in the East China Sea.

Officials identify Kadena airman who died at Okinawa waterfall

An airman assigned to the 18th Munitions Squadron at Kadena Air Base died Saturday after falling from Aha Falls, a popular spot for hiking and cliff jumping.

Hiroshima candlemaker honors 12 American POWs killed in atomic bombing

Eric Billingsley has long struggled to come to grips with the brutality and human suffering inflicted upon Americans and Japanese during World War II.

Historic Okinawa awamori distillery gets a facelift

After five years and nearly $3.5 million, renovations at Tsukayama Distillery — the only Okinawan awamori distillery to survive the Battle of Okinawa — are nearly complete.

Gate closures to continue at Marine bases on Okinawa

The closures have impacted Marine bases Camp Kinser, Camp Courtney and Camp Foster, where traffic backups have led to 45-minute delays in getting off base on some days during rush hours.

Banned pollutant detected in water running under Marine base on Okinawa

High levels of a banned pollutant have been detected in water running under Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, a year after the substance was found in streams and underground water wells adjacent to Kadena Air Base.

Japan responded to record number of Chinese, Russian aircraft in fiscal year 2016

Japanese jets scrambled a record number of times to intercept foreign aircraft approaching its airspace in fiscal year 2016, according to figures released Thursday by Japan’s Ministry of Defense.

Nuke-sniffer aircraft arrives on Okinawa as tensions rise on Korean peninsula

A U.S. aircraft that specializes in detecting radioactive debris after the detonation of a nuclear device has arrived on Okinawa amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Protester bites cop outside US military base on Okinawa

A woman was arrested Thursday after authorities said she bit a police officer outside a Marine Corps base on Okinawa – one of three arrests that day near U.S. military installations on the island.

4 US servicemembers arrested over the weekend on Okinawa

Four arrests — two on drunken-driving charges — mark the most over a single weekend for servicemembers on Okinawa since a string of alcohol-fueled incidents last year inspired protests and efforts to combat the problem.

Okinawa Zoo offers a pleasant day out among the animals

The Okinawa Zoo and Museum is a nice, clean, little zoo. The animals are well fed and taken care of; you can tell this by watching the dedicated staff. There are lions, giraffes, elephants, hippos, bears and a whole lot in between.

US court rules against soldier, returns baby to Okinawa mom

A 20-month-old girl returned to her Okinawa home from the United States last week — the island’s first child-return case under the Hague Convention on cross-border parental kidnapping since Japan joined the treaty in 2014.

Zakimi Castle witnessed intrigue in Okinawa's Ryukyu kingdom

Zakimi Castle in Yomitan might be a great place for family or wedding photos, a picnic, to read a book or just for solemn reflection, but it is much more than that. It is the story of Okinawa and its people.

Anti-US base protest leader released on bond after 5-month detention

The Fukuoka High Court on Saturday upheld a decision by the Naha District Court to release Hiroji Yamashiro, 64, chairman of a group opposed to relocating Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa.

Okinawan villagers to file complaint over Marine Corps aircraft mishap

Okinawan villagers plan to file a complaint with the U.S. military after a Marine Corps aircraft dropped a tire while training this week.

Anti-US base protest leader’s 5-month detention brings condemnation

Hiroji Yamashiro was taken into custody Oct. 17 on suspicion of vandalism after police said he cut an $18 strand of barbed wire on a perimeter fence at Okinawa’s Northern Training Area while protesting the construction of U.S. military helicopter landing pads.

Okinawa school teaches cooking for longevity

Bitter gourds, sweet-potato leaves and cooking papaya are among the local vegetables believed to have contributed to Okinawans’ famously long lives.

2 vets win Agent Orange exposure cases from Okinawa

There have long been rumors that Agent Orange was stored or used on Okinawa, but no one has been able to find proof. Now two servicemembers who served on the Japanese island during the Vietnam War era have won court cases claiming they developed ailments from exposure to the toxic defoliant.

Okinawans awarded $265 million over aircraft noise at Kadena

A Japanese court has awarded more than $265 million to people living around Kadena Air Base in the largest monetary settlement over U.S. military aircraft noise in the nation’s history.

Former Kadena worker reveals gruesome details of Okinawan woman’s death

A former U.S. base worker charged with raping and killing an Okinawan woman fantasized about raping women for years and thought about shooting fellow Marines as a way of attempting suicide, his lawyer said.

Court dismisses Okinawa residents' suit over Kadena aircraft noise

A Japanese court dismissed a demand Thursday by 146 Okinawans to restrict flight operations at Kadena Air Base because of aircraft noise.

Major construction begins on controversial Marine Corps runway on Okinawa

Concrete blocks are being dropped into the waters off Camp Schwab, the first major step in building a runway that will facilitate the controversial relocation of Marine forces within Okinawa.

Okinawa base worker to admit rape, but not intentional murder

A former U.S. base worker will admit to a charge of rape leading to the death of a Japanese woman last year, a new development in the case that rocked the tiny island prefecture and led to a surge in anti-American sentiment.

Okinawans hopeful Trump administration will bring positive changes

The election of Donald Trump brought supporters of Gov. Takeshi Onaga and anti-base activists a glimmer of hope for changes to U.S. policy that could halt base construction plans decades in the making.

Marine Corps helicopter makes precautionary landing on Okinawa

No injuries or damage resulted after a Marine Corps AH-1Z attack helicopter made a precautionary landing on Ikei Island, Okinawa, late last week after pilots received a warning indication in the cockpit.

Osprey aerial-refueling drills resume after crash on Okinawa

The Marine Corps has resumed MV-22 Osprey aerial-refueling drills on Okinawa less than a month after one of the tilt-rotor aircraft crashed off Camp Schwab.

Pottery and Cafe Gunjo offers pizza and Okinawan pottery

A pizzeria that opened recently in Yomitan village is attracting tourists, pottery lovers and gourmets to the center of traditional Okinawan pottery.