Kadena, Okinawa


Kadena is a town located in Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.As of October 2016, the town had an estimated population of 13,671 and a density of 910 persons per km². The total area is 15.04km2. Approximately 85% of the town is controlled by the US Government including Kadena Air Base, the second-largest base in the United States Air Force.GeographyKadena faces the East China Sea to the west.Neighboring municipalitiesKadena borders three other municipalities in Okinawa Prefecture. Yomitan to the northOkinawa to the eastChatan to the southHistoryThe Kadena area has some of the oldest settlement remains, in the form of shell mounds, on Okinawa Island. The Hija River, the modern border between Yomitan and Kadena, was the focus of these early settlements. A number of ruins of minor gusuku (castles and forts) can be found in the area. Amawari, an infamous warlord, was born in the Kadena area while it was still part of Chatan. Japan annexed the island in 1879, and Chatan became a village in 1908. During the Pacific War, Japan built an airstrip in the Kadena area. During the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, the United States landed on the banks of the Hija River and captured the airstrip. The airstrip became Kadena Air Force Base. On December 4th, 1948, the American military government separated Kadena from Chatan and established Kadena village. The United States built Kadena Circle outside the base. On January 1st, 1976, four years after Okinawa reverted to Japanese control, Kadena was elevated to town status.