Remote Island Prosperity

Our current main focus is on rejuvenating Okinawa’s northernmost island, Iheya.

Iheya is a place of great beauty and possesses many resources unique even to Okinawa, such as fresh spring water that flows from the mountains and enables rice to be cultivated. However, owing to factors such as inaccessibility and lack of infrastructure, the population is decreasing and the island’s treasures are going to waste.

The hands of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) have reached even the most remote outlying islands, meaning that they are not able to rely on the agriculture they have developed and protected until now. Not only rice but even sugarcane, the islands’ main source of income, will be subjected to tariffs and will require support from subsidies.

What EOF Can Do

  • Work together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the village leaders to find more efficient ways to use government funding
  • Help turn Iheya into a destination for school trips from other parts of Japan (see below)
  • Increase publicity and tourism by organizing events, making connections with sponsors and travel agents, promoting products made only in Iheya and more

School Excursions

Many of Okinawa’s remote islands have been hosting children from other parts of Japan in government-sponsored projects that serve to promote Okinawan culture and improve conditions on the islands. These projects have been so successful that the islands can no longer accommodate the number of applicants.

Iheya Island could accept that overflow and thereby receive the financial aid necessary for improving infrastructure and facilities on the island. If the villagers of Iheya were to offer their homes to host visiting schoolchildren, they would also receive a financial subsidy from the government. However, a minimum of 30 families must commit to this duty before government approval can be sought.

Planned Activities
  • Create a plan for how best to use government aid and work with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the village leaders to implement it
  • Appeal to Iheya families to participate in homestay projects
  • Promote the project to children who live in disaster-hit areas and whose health would benefit most from a temporary immersion in nature
  • Organize activities that would serve as publicity for the island, an introduction to Okinawan culture, and exposure to problems faced by the marine environment. For example:
    • Planting/harvesting sugarcane
    • Playing traditional musical instruments
    • Eating and cooking Okinawan food
    • Visiting the island’s awamori brewery
    • Observing the condition of marine life on the beach or by boat
    • Visiting cultural heritage sites like the Nentou Hiramatsu or Kumaya Cave