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Okinawa taking center stage as movie locale

Date Posted: 2006-09-29

Okinawa’s weather and friendly people are cited as two reasons Japanese film makers are flocking to the island.

Producers are using Okinawa more often as a movies location, and most producers say “Okinawa is a great location to take pictures and movies because of Okinawa’s citizens, who are friendly and support movie crews.” Another Japanese producer notes “Okinawa has many filming locations that are so pretty.”

As the economy improves here, Okinawa Kanko Convention Bureau began addressing the best way to promote tourism, and to use local resources. The bureau last week held a symposium talking about how to make the most of Okinawa locations for film and television productions.

Okinawa benefited from being the setting for film productions to the tune of ¥320,000,000 in 2005, officials say, and point out things should improve as more motion picture companies learn about the island’s positive points. Tourism officials point out Okinawa is a natural, easy to reach, inexpensive locale for field production.

Program and movie producers say Okinawa needs to extend itself a bit, though, and improve public relations opportunities. They ask local municipalities to allow use of local facilities such as police cars and fire trucks for use in movies.

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