Kerama Islands

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Kerama Islands
Native name: 慶良間諸島
Akajima2.jpg
Sea view of Kerama Islands with surrounding coral reefs
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Geography
Location Pacific Ocean
Archipelago Okinawa Islands
Country
Japan
Prefecture Okinawa Prefecture

The Kerama Islands (慶良間諸島 Kerama-shotō?, Okinawan: キラマ Kirama) are a group of 22 islands located 32 kilometres (20 mi) southwest of Okinawa Island in Japan. Four of the islands are inhabited: Tokashiki Island, Zamami Island, Aka Island, and Geruma Island.[1] The islands are within Shimajiri District.[2] The Kerama-shotō coral reef is a Ramsar Site.[3]

During World War II and preliminary to the Battle of Okinawa, soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division landed in the Kerama Islands on March 26, 1945. Further landings followed, and the Kerama group was secured over the next five days. Kerama was used as a staging area for the assault on Okinawa. During the battle the first civilian mass suicides that later marked the Battle of Okinawa took place.

The first US Navy ship to anchor in the harbor was the USS Makin Island, a small "jeep" carrier.[citation needed]

It was the site of a true story about romance between two dogs who lived on neighboring islands that was made into the 1988 Japanese film I Want to See Marilyn (Marilyn ni Aitai).[4] It is now a popular beach and diving destination for visitors to Okinawa.

Transportation[edit]

The Kerama Islands are served by the Kerama Airport, located on Fukaji Island.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°12′00″N 127°19′59″E / 26.2°N 127.333°E / 26.2; 127.333