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Okinawa International on the Web

By: Jena Maddalino

Date Posted: 2000-01-08

As Okinawa moves into a new century, it is evident that the most significant medium for the spread of vital information about its economic and cultural assets is bound to be via the Internet. It is clear that Okinawa will not escape the global trend in the development of information technology. The Year 2000 will prove to be a most important year for Okinawa, as the Host to the G-8 Summit in July. Because of the Summit, Okinawa has started to receive more international attention and, at the same time, lifted the hopes of the residents that Okinawa will truly become an International destination.

The perfect way for the rest of the world to connect itself to the 47th Prefecture of Japan is by visiting some of its best websites. As a confirmation to the growth of Okinawa, many such sites can be found by using any Internet search engine and typing in the word ‘Okinawa’. While these websites are useful resources for the world, they are also quite useful for those who live in Okinawa. We offer to you some of best sources of information about the Summit, the Culture and history of Okinawa that we found on the web.

The Okinawa Prefecture Site, www.pref.okinawa.jp
This website is a wonderful mixture of both cultural and Summit information. The site outlines each of the 8 nations participating in the summit (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union), the summit schedule and important summit information. Additionally, the site offers a most important summit question and answer section which tells of how and why the summit started – great information for those who know little about its significance.

The site also contains a substantial amount of information about all the major tourist spots of Okinawa, events going on in Okinawa for each month and an Okinawa a la carte section, which details the history and statistics of the island. If you seek more information additional links are provided from the site.

Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Mahae Net, www.ocvb.or.jp
The best aspect of this site is that it highlights major festivals and special events – everything to the Dragon Boat races to the Shuri Village festival. Go to this site and you can also spend time reading about the history, traditional arts and crafts and traditional performing arts of Okinawa – all of which are very important in understanding the people that live here.

If you are interested in visiting more of this island, then click on the information about major sightseeing spots. This sight gives detailed information about important cultural and scenic sights of Okinawa – there is enough to do and see to last you for several years.

Virtual Okinawa, www.virtulokinawa.com

This site offers an exciting virtual tour of Okinawa, taking you to locations throughout the island. Each tour that you take will provide you with pertinent information, including directions, fees and basic tips to the sights. Visit the underwater gallery and you will see stunning pictures of sea life, taken by photographer Greg Graham.

The site also contains an ‘about Okinawa’ section, which provides more information about the island. Additionally, the site contains a community section that focuses on schools, employment and volunteer activities available. Best of all, the site has a live web cam from Naha – the most active city in Okinawa.

More Sites
Another site that is worth mentioning is www.okinawa.ntt.ocn.ne.jp. Besides providing useful information about Okinawa, this site contains an undersea cam located at the Busena Resort tower. If you want to see what a beautiful underwater world Okinawa possesses, this cam is five meters below the surface of the water and it refreshes every 10 seconds (best when visited during daylight hours!).

Www.city.nago.okinawa.jp – provides information about the city and the G-8 Summit.

Www.mofa.go.jp – the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

And - of course - the most comprehensive site in English that treats Local News of Okinawa, including events on the US bases and within the local community, weather, online shopping mall and bookstore, weekly information on G-8 Summit developments and multiple links to other websites about Okinawa: the Japan Update homepage at www.japanupdate.com.

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