Okinawa is a part of a collection of islands south of the Japanese Home Islands that have been Japanese possessions since the seventeenth century.
It was the site of the bloodiest battle between the United States and Japan of World War II, beginning on April 1, 1945. A total of 60,000 U.S. troops landed on Okinawa in the largest amphibious attack of the War in the Pacific. A total of 12,000 Americans died and 36,000 were wounded.
The battle of Okinawa dominated the first nine weeks of Truman's presidency and eventually accounted for one-quarter of all American casualties in the Pacific War. 
The Japanese sunk or damaged 400 American ships. The battle inflicted casualties of over 100,000 on the Japanese, many of them civilians. Modern Okinawa Prefecture now is a popular Japanese tourist destination.