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Baby boomers boost Okinawa population

Date Posted: 2006-12-22

Okinawa’s population increased by more than 26,000 last year, with credit being attributed to retirements beginning with the baby boomer generation.

The Annual Report of Residents Basic Book of Population Movement says Okinawa gained 26,664 new residents who migrated from mainland Japan. The trend is more pronounced in the Yaeyama Islands, where the growth rate has risen to four percent. Yaeyama officials say housing construction is being expedited because of the rapid migration rate.

The Ministry of Public Management says baby boomer retirements are fueling migration away from the large cities in mainland Japan. Okinawa is popular because of its climate and a more laid back lifestyle.

At the same time, the report notes 24,662 Okinawa residents moved away from Japan’s southernmost prefecture. Officials say many of those moving did so because of job transfers or reassignments to other prefectures. The ministry says the key to continued migration to Okinawa will hinge on the prefecture’s ability to provide infrastructure.

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