Beach season starts on one of Okinawa's islands

A beach opening ceremony has taken place in the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, but the event was smaller than usual, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yonaha Maehama Beach is located on the island of Miyakojima. It opened on Sunday. The beach is a popular tourist destination. It is known for its white sands and blue waters.

Representatives of the island's tourist industry declared the beach open. Hula dances and traditional local eisa dances were performed.

Fewer people participated in the ceremony this year. Tourists are usually permitted to wade into the water and take the first dip during the event, but this year they were not allowed to do so, due to the pandemic.

Kawamitsu Akinori of the local tourism association says people on the island intend to make sure visitors can swim safely and securely.