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Okinawa population increases slightly but young move out

Date Posted: 2003-02-08

Okinawa is growing, while the rest of Japan’s population is declining. Okinawa’s population posted a slight increase over last year, rising to 1,340,881 on Jan. 1, 2003.

The Prefecture General Affairs Bureau says there are 10,163 more people living in Okinawa now than one year ago. Nationwide, the population is decreasing, with fewer babies born almost in every prefecture except Okinawa.

Within Okinawa Prefecture, Tokashiki Village posted the largest growth at 5.6 percent, followed by Yonaguni Town at three percent. Most of the outer islands have a population problem, however.

Irabu and Kume Islands are prime examples. In both places the population is decreasing, with young people moving out in search of better living conditions on Okinawa’s main island and in mainland Japan.

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