Minami-Tori-shima (南鳥島, lit. "Southern Bird Island"), also known as Marcus Island, is an isolated Japanese coral atoll in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, located some 1,848 kilometres (1,148 mi) southeast of Tokyo and 1,267 km (787 mi) east of the closest Japanese island, South Iwo Jima of the Ogasawara Islands, and nearly on a straight line between mainland Tokyo and Wake Island, 1,415 km (879 mi) further to the east-southeast. The closest island to Minami-Tori-shima is East Island in the Mariana Islands, which is 1,015 km (631 mi) to the west-southwest.
It is the easternmost territory belonging to Japan, and the only Japanese territory on the Pacific Plate, past the Japan Trench. Although small (1.51 km2 (1 sq mi)) it is of strategic importance, as it enables Japan to claim a 428,875 square kilometres (165,589.6 sq mi) Exclusive Economic Zone in the surrounding waters. It is also the easternmost territory of Tokyo, being administratively part of Ogasawara village. There is no civilian population, except personnel of the Japan Meteorological Agency, JSDF and Japan Coast Guard.
|Native name: |
Aerial photo of Minami-Tori-shima from 1987
|Area||1.51 km2 (0.58 sq mi)|
|Coastline||6,000 m (20,000 ft)|
|Highest elevation||9 m (30 ft)|
|Population||0 (no local residents, only Japanese personnel)|
Minami-Tori-Shima is triangular in shape, and has a saucer-like profile, with a raised outer rim of between 5 and 9 metres (16 and 30 ft) above sea level. The central area of the island is 1 m (3 ft) below sea level. Minami-Tori-Shima is surrounded by fringing reefs which ranges from 50 to 300 m (164–984 ft) in width, enclosing a shallow lagoon, which is connected with the open ocean by narrow passages on the southern and northeastern sides. Outside the reef, the ocean depths quickly plunge to over 1,000 m (3,300 ft). The island has a total land area of 1.51 km2 (1 sq mi)). It takes about 45 minutes to walk around the island. It has a very solitary location, because there are no other islands for over 1,000 km (621 mi) in all directions. The sea is clear in the shallow area around the island. At night, there is no surrounding light so the stars are clearly visible in the sky. For example constellations such as Crux.
A type of Gecko family called Perochirus ateles inhabits the island. In Japan, these are only found in Minami-Tori-Shima and South Iwo Jima. it is thought that they spread via driftwood from Micronesia.
There are also a large number of land snails called Achatina fulica with parasites which are harmful to humans. There is various marine life in the ocean around the island. Such as sea snakes, tuna, sharks and some rare fish. Small fish are in the shallow area around the island.
It is currently not allowed for civilians to enter the island for tours or sightseeing. There are no commercial boat tours or flights to the island. This is due to the observation station of the JSDF and the Japan Meteorological Agency. Sometimes reporters and specialists can get an entry permit.
There are no local residents because civilians are not allowed to live there. There are only people of the Japan Meteorological Agency, Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard. They stay for a certain period on the island. Only a limited number of people are allowed to stay.
The first discovery and mention of an island in this area was made by a Spanish Manila galleon captain, Andrés de Arriola in 1694. It was charted in Spanish maps as Sebastián López, after the Spanish Admiral Sebastián López, victorious in the battles of La Naval de Manila in 1646 against the Dutch. Its exact location was left unrecorded until further sightings in the early 19th century.
Captain Bourn Russell (1794–1880) in the Lady Rowena departed Sydney NSW 1830 November 2nd on a Pacific whaling voyage. On his return on 27 June 1832, he reported an island, not on his charts, which he named "William the Fourth's Island". The newspaper report gives a description of the size, shape, and orientation of the island and its reef, but unfortunately not only misspells the captain's name but gives the island a south latitude.
The island was mentioned again in 1864 by the ship Morning Star, belonging either to the United States or the Hawaiian Kingdom and was given the name "Marcus Island". Its position was recorded by a United States survey ship in 1874 and first landed on by a Japanese national, Kiozaemon Saito in 1879. On June 30, 1886, a Japanese named Shinroku Mizutani led a group of 46 colonists from Haha-jima in the Ogasawara Islands to settle on Marcus Island. The settlement was named "Mizutani" after the leader of the expedition. The Empire of Japan officially annexed the island July 24, 1898, the previous United States claim from 1889 according to the Guano Islands Act not being officially acknowledged. The island was officially named "Minami-Tori-Shima" and placed administratively under the Ogasawara Subprefecture of Tokyo.
Sovereignty over the island before World War I was apparently disputed as various sources from the time move the island from the American to Japanese domain without specific explanation. In 1902, the United States dispatched a warship from Hawaii to enforce its claims but withdrew on finding the island still inhabited by Japanese, with a Japanese warship patrolling nearby. In 1914, William D. Boyce included Marcus Island as an obviously American island in his book, The Colonies and Dependencies of the United States. In 1933, by orders of the Japanese government, the civilian inhabitants of Minami-Tori-Shima were evacuated. In 1935, the Imperial Japanese Navy established a meteorological station on the island and built an airstrip.
After the start of World War II the Japanese garrison stationed on the island consisted of the 742-man Minami-Tori-shima Guard Unit, under the command of Rear Admiral Masata Matsubara and the 2,005 man 12th Independent Mixed Regiment of the Imperial Japanese Army, under the command of Colonel Yoshiichi Sakata. The United States Navy bombed it repeatedly in 1942 and in 1943, but never attempted to capture it (the island was featured in the U.S. film The Fighting Lady). Though isolated, the Japanese were able to resupply the garrison by submarine, using a channel cut through the reef on the northwest side of the island. That channel is still visible today. The island was subject to repeated U.S. air attacks during World War II and finally surrendered when the destroyer USS Bagley arrived on August 31, 1945. 
The Treaty of San Francisco transferred the island to American control in 1952. The island was returned to Japanese control in 1968, but the Americans retained control of the airstrip and LORAN station.
In 1964, after some delays caused by storms that ravaged the island during construction, the U.S. Coast Guard opened a LORAN-C navigation station on Minami-Tori-Shima, whose mast was until 1985 one of the tallest structures in the Pacific area. Before replacing Loran A for general marine navigation, Loran C was used by submarine-launched Polaris missile systems and the existence and location of Loran C stations was classified. LORANSTA Marcus Island was billeted for 23 U.S. Coast Guard personnel. The commissioning commanding officer was U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Louis. C. Snell. A detachment of SEABEES remained on the island for several months making repairs to the island's airstrip.
The island is extremely isolated and Coast Guardsmen stationed on the island served one-year tours that were later modified to allow an R&R visit to mainland Japan at the six-month point. At the end of this isolated tour of duty crew members received an additional 30 days of compensatory leave. While under U.S. administration, on Thursdays a C-130 Hercules from the 345th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, would resupply the island on weekly missions. Often Coast Guardsmen would judge landings by raising placards with large numbers. An unusually long four-hour ground time was scheduled to allow technicians who flew in to perform maintenance on the transmitter and to offload extra fuel from the C-130 to power the island's generator. It also allowed the Coast Guardsmen to read and answer letters while aircrews would snorkel and collect green glass fishing buoys that wash up on the shore.
The Marcus Island station was transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) on September 30, 1993, and was closed on December 1, 2009.
The island is currently used for weather observation and has a radio station, but little else. Because of its isolation, it is of some interest to amateur radio hobbyists. The JMSDF garrison was supplied by C-130 from Iruma Air Base, or by C-130 from Haneda or Atsugi Air Base with flights via Iwo Jima on a weekly basis. The runway of Minami Torishima Airport is only 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) long and cannot handle larger aircraft. The island is considered as a separate country for amateur radio awards. The island is off-limits to civilians, except from the Japan Meteorological Agency.
After China restricted exports of strategic rare earth oxides (REO) in 2009 Japan started to explore its seabeds for deposits. In January 2013, a deep-sea research vessel of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology obtained seven deep-sea mud core samples from the seafloor at 5,600 to 5,800 meters depth, approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of the island. The research team found a mud layer 2 to 4 meters beneath the seabed that is extremely concentrated in REO. Analytical results showed that the maximum REO content in the mud was up to 0.66% REO.
On April 10, 2018 a scientific study of the seabed mud resulted in an estimate of 16 million tons of REO deposits in the studied area. The report discussed various REO supplies in terms of hundreds of years and stated that the area "has the potential to supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world."
Minami-Tori-shima has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw), with warm to hot temperatures throughout the year. The wettest months are July and August, while the driest months are February and March. It has the highest average temperature in Japan of 25 degrees Celsius.
The calculated ΣREY for the entire research area is more than 16 million tons of rare-earth oxides (Mt-REO) (average ΣREY=964ppm). [...] The research area was estimated to be able to supply Y, Eu, Tb, and Dy for 780, 620, 420, and 730 years, respectively, and has the potential to supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world.
The meridian 154° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, Australasia, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole.
The 154th meridian east forms a great circle with the 26th meridian west.Bonin Islands
The Bonin Islands, also known as the Ogasawara Islands (小笠原群島, Ogasawara Guntō), or, Yslas del Arzobispo, are an archipelago of over 30 subtropical and tropical islands, some 1,000 kilometres (540 nmi; 620 mi) directly south of Tokyo, Japan. The name "Bonin Islands" comes from the Japanese word bunin (an archaic reading of 無人 mujin), meaning "no people" or "uninhabited". The only inhabited islands of the group are Chichijima (父島), the seat of the municipal government, and Hahajima (母島).
Ogasawara Municipality (mura) and Ogasawara Subprefecture take their names from the Ogasawara Group. Ogasawara Archipelago (小笠原諸島, Ogasawara shotō) is also used as a wider collective term that includes other islands in Ogasawara Municipality, such as the Volcano Islands, along with three other remote islands (Nishinoshima, Minami-Tori-shima and Okinotorishima). Geographically speaking, all of these islands are part of the Nanpō Islands.
A total population of 2,440 (2015), 2,000 on Chichijima and 440 on Hahajima, lives in the Ogasawara Group, which has a total area of 84 square kilometres (32 sq mi).
Because the Ogasawara Islands have never been connected to a continent, many of their animals and plants have undergone unique evolutionary processes. This has led to the islands' nickname of "The Galápagos of the Orient", and their nomination as a natural World Heritage Site on June 24, 2011. The giant squid (genus Architeuthis) was photographed off the Ogasawara Islands for the first time in the wild on 30 September 2004, and was filmed alive in December 2006.A 25-metre-diameter (82 ft) radio telescope is located in Chichijima, one of the stations of the very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) Exploration of Radio Astrometry (VERA) project, and is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.Chichijima Airfield
Chichijima Airfield (父島飛行場, Chichijima Hikōjō) (ICAO: RJAO) is an airfield on the island of Chichi-jima in Japan. It has a landing slope facility for flying boats (e.g. Shin Meiwa US-1A/US-2) and a heliport for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Chichijima Naval Base.
Both bases were under the control of the United States Navy from shortly after Japan's surrender in 1945 up to 1968. During that time the naval base was known as Chichi Jima Naval Base.
Plans to build a full airport have been created and withdrawn several times, because of environmental concerns.Eastern Asia (WGSRPD)
Eastern Asia is one of the regions of temperate Asia defined in the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions (WGSRPD) for use in recording the distribution of plants. It is very much smaller than common definitions of East Asia. It consists of the Korean Peninsula, Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku, plus associated offshore islands – the Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto), the Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto) and the Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-shoto)), and Taiwan. Some islands belonging to Japan politically, such as Marcus Island (Minami-Tori-shima), have greater floristic affinity with similar Pacific islands and are placed in the botanical continent of the Pacific.Fleet Air Wing 4 (JMSDF)
Fleet Air Wing 4 (第4航空群, daiyonkoukuugun) is a unit of the Fleet Air Force of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. It is based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture. It consists of Air Patrol Squadron 3, the Atsugi Base Squadron and the Iwo Jima Base Squadron (With a detachment on Minami-Tori-shima (Marcus Is.).Geography of Japan
Japan is an island country comprising a stratovolcanic archipelago over 3,000 km (1,900 mi) along East Asia's Pacific coast. It consists of 6,852 islands. The 5 main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku and Okinawa. There are 6,847 'remote islands'. The Ryukyu Islands and Nanpō Islands are south and east of the main islands.
The territory extends 377,973.89 km2 (145,936.53 sq mi). It is the 4th largest island country in the world and the largest island country in East Asia. Japan has the sixth longest coastline 29,751 km (18,486 mi) and the eighth largest Exclusive Economic Zone of 4,470,000 km2 (1,730,000 sq mi) in the world.The terrain is mostly rugged and mountainous with 66% forest. The population is clustered in urban areas on the coast, plains and valleys. Japan is located in the northwestern Ring of Fire on multiple tectonic plates. East of the Japanese archipelago are three oceanic trenches. The Japan Trench is created as the oceanic Pacific Plate subducts beneath the continental Okhotsk Plate. The continuous subduction process causes frequent earthquakes, tsunami and stratovolcanoes. The islands are also affected by typhoons. The subduction plates have pulled the Japanese archipelago eastward, created the Sea of Japan and separated it from the Asian continent by back-arc spreading 15 million years ago.The climate of the Japanese archipelago varies from humid continental in the north (Hokkaido) to humid subtropical and tropical rainforest in the south (Okinawa Prefecture). These differences in climate and landscape have allowed the development of a diverse flora and fauna, with some rare endemic species, especially in the Ogasawara Islands.
Japan extends from 20° to 45° north latitude (Okinotorishima to Benten-jima) and from 122° to 153° east longitude (Yonaguni to Minami Torishima). Japan is surrounded by seas. To the north the Sea of Okhotsk separates it from the Russian Far East, to the west the Sea of Japan separates it from the Korean Peninsula, to the southwest the East China Sea separates the Ryukyu Islands from China and Taiwan, to the east is the Pacific Ocean.Imperial Japanese Navy bases and facilities
This is a list of Imperial Japanese Navy bases and facilitiesKounotori 7
Kounotori 7 (こうのとり7号機), also known as HTV-7 is the seventh flight of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), an unmanned cargo spacecraft launched on 22 September 2018 to resupply the International Space Station.Marcus
Marcus, Markus, or Márkus may refer to:
Marcus (name), a masculine given name
Marcus (praenomen), a Roman praenomeMarcus Island LORAN-C transmitter
Marcus Island LORAN-C transmitter, or Minami Torishima LORAN-C transmitter, is a former LORAN-C transmitter on Minami-Tori-shima (Marcus Island) in Ogasawara, Tokyo, Japan at (24°17′8″N 153°58′54″E). Until 1993 it was part of Grid 9970 and used a transmission power of 4000 kilowatts, which was more than the most powerful broadcasting stations ever used.
Until 1985 Marcus Island LORAN-C transmitter had a 411.48-meter (1,350.0 ft) tall guyed mast radiator as an antenna, which was built in 1964. In 1985/86 the 411.48-metre tower was replaced by a 213.4 m-tall (700 ft) tall tower.
In October 1993 the authority over the transmitter was transferred from the United States Coast Guard to the Japan Coast Guard. In 2000 the tower of the station was again dismantled and replaced by a new one with a height of 213 meters.
Marcus Island LORAN-C transmitter was the X-Ray secondary station of the North West Pacific LORAN-C Chain GRI 8930. Its transmission power was reduced to 1100 kilowatts.
On December 1, 2009, the station was abolished due to a decline in users.Mount Suribachi
Mount Suribachi (JPN.: 摺鉢山, Suribachiyama) is a 169 m high mountain at the southwest end of the island Iwo Jima (now officially Iō-tō) in the northwest Pacific Ocean, under the administration of Ogasawara Subprefecture, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan.
The mountain's name derives from its shape, resembling a suribachi or "grinding bowl." It is also known as "Mount Pipe" (JPN: パイプ山, paipu-yama), since the sulfur gas and water vapor that rolls in from the summit, alongside the rest of the island, give the appearance of a smoking pipe when viewed from the sea.
Joe Rosenthal's famous photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima was taken at the mountain's peak.Myripristis amaena
Myripristis amaena is a species of fish in the soldierfish family found in the Pacific Ocean. Their range spans from Indonesia and the Philippines, Hawaii and Ducie Island, north to Ryukyu and Minami-Tori-shima, and south to Micronesia. They are reef fish, often inhabiting caves and rock ledges.North Iwo Jima
North Iwo Jima (北硫黄島, officially Kita-Iōtō, also frequently Kita-Iwō-jima Kita-Iōjima: "North Sulfur Island") is the northernmost island of the Volcano Islands group of the Bonin Islands, 80 km north of Iwo Jima. It is 1170 km south of Tokyo, 207 km SSW of Chichijima.Ogasawara, Tokyo
Ogasawara (小笠原村, Ogasawara-mura) is a village in Ogasawara Subprefecture, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan, that governs the Bonin Islands, Volcano Islands, and three remote islands (Nishinoshima, Minami-Tori-shima and Okinotorishima).Ogasawara High School
Tokyo Metropolitan Ogasawara High School (東京都立小笠原高等学校, Tōkyō Toritsu Ogasawara Kōtōgakkō) is a public high school on Chichi-jima in Ogasawara, Tokyo, Japan. The school is a part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education.
The school is the sole public high school in the Ogasawara Islands.Ogasawara Subprefecture
Ogasawara Subprefecture (小笠原支庁, Ogasawara-shichō) is a subprefecture of Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. The subprefecture covers the Bonin Islands and is coterminous with the village of Ogasawara; and the prefectural government maintains a main office on Chichijima and a branch office on Hahajima.
The subprefecture covers 104.41 square km and 2,415 people.
The Ogasawara Islands refer to a scattered group of islands in the Northwest Pacific south of the Japanese main island of Honshū. They consist of the Bonin Islands (Ogasawara Archipelago), the Volcano Islands (Kazan Islands) and several isolated islands.SS Yoshida Maru
The Yoshida Maru (吉田丸) was a Japanese cargo ship owned by Nippon Yusen Kaisha. The ship was built in 1941 by Hakodate Dock at Hakodate on the northern island of Hokkaidō.Torishima
Torishima, Tori-shima or Tori Shima, is a Japanese toponym or personal surname. Most versions of the name have the meaning Bird Island (鳥島 /とりしま), with some exceptions.Volcano Islands
The Volcano Islands (火山列島, Kazan Rettō) or Iwo Islands (硫黄列島, Iō-rettō) are a group of three Japanese islands south of the Ogasawara Islands that belong to the municipality of Ogasawara, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. The islands are all active volcanoes lying atop an island arc that stretches south to the Marianas. They have an area of 32.55 square kilometres (12.57 sq mi), and a population of 380.
|Climate data for Minamitorishima (1981–2018)|
|Record high °C (°F)||29.7
|Average high °C (°F)||24.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||22.3
|Average low °C (°F)||20.3
|Record low °C (°F)||14.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||71.7
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm)||11.3||8.6||7.4||7.8||8.9||8.3||13.8||16.6||14.2||11.7||9.4||12.2||130.2|
|Average relative humidity (%)||70||69||74||79||78||76||77||79||78||77||75||74||76|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||166.1||178.5||227.7||237.6||274.0||299.4||274.1||252.0||256.8||250.6||213.8||175.5||2,805.3|
|Source #1: Japan Meteorological Agency climate normals|
|Source #2: Japan meteorological Agency climate extremes|
Within the Nanpō Islands; only Chichijima and Hahajima are inhabited currently.
This list is incomplete.