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Tokyo forum promotes Okinawa migration

Date Posted: 2007-02-01

The organizers called it “Tokyo Forum: Okinawa Innovation”, a day-long seminar targeting baby boomers approaching retirement.

The goal is to attract the upscale businessmen to consider retiring to Okinawa. The Okinawa Prefecture government, together with municipalities and private industry, are waging an all-out campaign to lure the well-to-do families to Okinawa. More than 100 people turned out for this seminar, which featured the handiwork of welfare and labor ministries, businesses and individuals who’ve already made the move south to Okinawa. Forum leaders pitched the virtures of Okinawa, explaining the ‘secrets’ which include the environment, comfortable life and great people.

A panel discussion brought Takeshe Matsushita to the microphones. Matsushita migrated to Okinawa ten years ago, and said “It is important to make a scaffold of life from the relationships, through each one’s own place of work”. The panelist added that the concept of networking is important, to take people beyond work to learn extension lectures and culture center opportunities.

Another immigrant, Mr. Ohhori, migrated to Okinawa five years ago from a job working in a data center. He said “I’m expecting that giving young people instruction in native skills, and mixing the old style of instruction through experiences not in manuals, will benefit everyone.”

Yano Zeni, a special advisor with Yano Economy Laboratory, says “Unless somebody thinks about how to best use baby boomers’ particular talents and skills, and how to capture the worth of them as citizens and intellectuals, we miss out.” Yano says it’s important that the whole person be accepted as a true partner in Okinawa’s future.

Failure to prepare properly for an Okinawa move can be costly, says Fumio Gibo of Okishin Hosho Service. “There are some unsuccessful cases,” Gibo says, “because the people bought a house without preparations in an unknown place. It’s important that everything be carefully plotted out.”

Gibo, who supports migration to Okinawa, says the full process must be completed in preparing for a move. It’s something, he says, that takes time and effort to be done properly and thoroughly.

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