60% of remote islands’ high school grads want to return

According to an awareness survey by Okinawa General Bureau, about 60% of high school students now in the 3rd grade, who are planning to leave their homes on the remote islands of the prefecture after graduation, think they want to return to their home island sometime in the future.

The survey showed students have opinions like, “I love my island” and “I want to contribute to my home island.” In the same survey, students who think they will not go back pointed out to reasons like, “I will earn less money there” or “there are no jobs.” 85.3% of students plan to leave their home islands after graduating.

Okinawa General Bureau conducted the survey for the first time as a part of its planning for the future promotion of the remote islands. The survey received answers from 965 third-grade students from eight high schools on Kume, Miyako, and Ishigaki islands.

72.2% of the students said they are “satisfied” with the life on their islands because of the rich natural environment. Meanwhile 24.7% of them think, “There are few amusement facilities” and 19% of them think, “There are few jobs”.

Regarding the future 10 to 20 years ahead, 61.9% of them think, “The island will be developed” with tourist-related industries.

The head of Okinawa General Bureau said, “We will think how we should promote the remote islands in the future based on the results of this survey.”

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