Now well into the 1950s, much rebuilding had taken place and marketing was becoming again a more lucrative enterprise. Prewar Okinawa's economy was based primarily upon fishing and agriculture with most of the island's population just getting by. In the years following the war economic aid from both the Japanese and the United States governments turned trade away from those fundamental enterprises and brought about new industries. Japan subsidized the production of sugar cane and pineapples. Okinawans, almost by definition, being maleable and adaptive to change went a long way toward modernization of their economy.|
Okinawa, prior to WWII, had about 148,000 acres of agricultural land more than 50% of that went toward production of sweet potatoes; 25% to sugar cane; 14,000 acres for rice and the rest for cereals, grazing and vegetable gardens. Sweet potatoes were used mainly for sustenance while sugar cane was the primary commercial crop. One third of the cane was processed with modern technology and the other 2/3, brown sugar, was crudely processed by crushing, boiling and concentrating. That was exported to Japan and used in making candy.