Japan Travel Guide
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We've always heard that Japanese people live a really long time, and that those from the island of Okinawa in particular have one of the longest lifespans on earth. In 1996 they lived an average of 1.5 years longer than the rest of Japan and 4.5 years longer than Americans.
But oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Okinawans are getting fat--fast. First reason: Too many hamburgers, for which they blame American troops stationed on the island. Second reason: too much alcohol, and the excuse here is really creative. In other parts of Japan, nightlife is restricted by having to catch the last train, usually around midnight. Okinawa has no local train network, so there's nothing to stop them drinking, or so they say.
Whatever you blame, the government's getting worried. In the main city, Naha, the council is sponsoring a slimming competition. Winners get health club vouchers--and will never be invited to become sumo wrestlers.
[Image via miyamiya16/Flickr]
Fattest Island Launches Slimming Award [Yahoo]
Sumo Surprise [Jaunted]