Minamidaitōjima (南大東島), also spelt as Minami Daitō or Minami-Daitō, is the largest island in the Daitō Islands group southeast of Okinawa, Japan. It is administered as part of the village of Minamidaitō, Okinawa. Shimajiri District, Okinawa and has a population of 2,107.[1] The island is entirely cultivated for agriculture, although it lacks freshwater sources. The island has no beaches or harbor, and cargo must be loaded/offloaded by crane; however the island has an airport Minami Daito Airport ( airport code "KTD").

Native name:
Minami Daito Jima ISS002
Aerial Photograph of Minamidaitōjima
Daito islands en
LocationPhilippine Sea
Coordinates25°50′N 131°14′E / 25.833°N 131.233°E
ArchipelagoDaitō Islands
Area11.94 km2 (4.61 sq mi)
Length4.85 km (3.014 mi)
Coastline18.3 km (11.37 mi)
Highest elevation75 m (246 ft)
PrefecturesOkinawa Prefecture
DistrictShimajiri District
Population2,107[1] (2010)
Ethnic groupsJapanese
Map of Minamidaitō


Minamidaitōjima is a relatively isolated coralline island, located approximately 9 kilometres (4.9 nmi) south of Kitadaitōjima, the second largest island of the archipelago, and 360 kilometres (190 nmi) from Naha, Okinawa. As with the other islands in the archipelago, Minamidaitōjima is an uplifted coral atoll with a steep coastal cliff of limestone (the former fringing coral reef of the island), and a depressed center (the former lagoon of the island). The island is roughly oval in shape, with a circumference of about 13.52 kilometres (8.40 mi), length of 4.85 kilometres (3.01 mi) and an area of 11.94 square kilometres (4.61 sq mi). The highest point is 74 metres (243 ft) above sea level.


Minamidaitōjima has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very warm summers and mild winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year; the wettest month is June and the driest month is February. The island is subject to frequent typhoons.


It is uncertain when Minamidaitōjima was discovered. It is the most likely that their first sighting was by the Spanish navigator Bernardo de la Torre in 1543, in between 25 September and 2 October, during his abortive attempt to reach New Spain from the Philippines with the San Juan de Letran. It was then charted, together with Kitadaitōjima, as Las Dos Hermanas (The Two Sisters). There is little doubt that Minamidaitōjima and Kitadaitōjima were again sighted by the Spanish on 28 July 1587, by Pedro de Unamuno who named them Islas sin Probecho (Useless Islands).[3] In 1788 the British captain John Meares named an island in the vicinity “Grampus Island”, but the recorded coordinates are not correct and it is not certain which of the Daitō island he sighted. The French also reported sighting an island in 1807. However, on 2 July 1820 the Russian vessel Borodino surveyed the two Daitō islands, and named the south as "South Borodino Island".

The island remained uninhabited until claimed by the Empire of Japan in 1885. In 1900, a team of pioneers from Hachijōjima, one of the Izu Islands located 287 kilometres (178 mi) south of Tokyo led by Tamaoki Han'emon (1838 – 1910), became the first human inhabitants of the island, and started the cultivation of sugar cane. The population reached 4000 in 1919. During this period until World War II, Minamidaitōjima was owned in its entirety by Dai Nippon Sugar (now Dai Nippon Meiji Sugar), which provided community services and subsidized pricing for its employees, and of whom were seasonal workers from Okinawa and Taiwan.

The island was garrisoned by the Japanese military in 1942. As the war situation worsened for Japan, many of the civilian inhabitants were evacuated to Okinawa, Kyushu or Hachijojima in 1944. The island was repeatedly bombed and shelled by the United States Navy from February to June 1945.

After World War II, the island was occupied by the United States, at which time its civilian population was 1426. The island was returned to Japan in 1972.


  • Kakzu, Hiroshi. Island Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for Okinawa. Trafford Publishing (2012) ISBN 978-1-4669-0646-4
  1. ^ a b 平成22年国勢調査 人口等基本集計(男女・年齢・配偶関係,世帯の構成,住居の状態など) 都道府県結果 47沖縄県 Okinawa 2010 census
  2. ^ "Minamidaitojima Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Welsch, Bernard (Jun 2004). "Was Marcus Island Discovered by Bernardo de la Torre in 1543?". The Journal of Pacific History. Taylor & Francis. Ltd. 39 (1): 114, 120. doi:10.1080/00223340410001684886.

External links

Daitō Islands

The Daitō Islands (大東諸島, Daitō-shotō) are an archipelago consisting of three isolated coral islands in the Philippine Sea southeast of Okinawa. The islands have a total area of 44.427 square kilometres (17.153 sq mi) and a population of 2,107.Administratively, the whole group belongs to Shimajiri District of Okinawa Prefecture, and is divided between the villages of Minamidaitō and Kitadaitō, with uninhabited Okidaitōjima island administered as part of Kitadaitō municipality, although physically located closer to Minamidaitōjima.


Kitadaitōjima (北大東島), also spelled as Kita Daitō, Kita-Daitō-shima, and Kitadaitō, is the northernmost island in the Daitō Islands group, located in the Philippine Sea southeast of Okinawa, Japan. It is administered as part of the village of Kitadaitō, Shimajiri District, Okinawa. The island is entirely cultivated for agriculture, although it lacks freshwater sources. The island has no beaches and harbor but has an airport (Kitadaito Airport) ( airport code "KTD") for local flights.

List of Cultural Properties of Japan - structures (Okinawa)

This list is of the Cultural Properties of Japan designated in the category of structures (建造物, kenzōbutsu) for the Prefecture of Okinawa.

List of first human settlements

This is a list of dates associated with the prehistoric peopling of the world (first known presence of Homo sapiens).

The list is divided into four categories, Middle Paleolithic (before 50,000 years ago),

Upper Paleolithic (50,000 to 12,500 years ago), Holocene (12,500 to 500 years ago) and Modern (Age of Sail and modern exploration).

List entries are identified by region (in the case of genetic evidence spatial resolution is limited) or region, country or island, with the date of the first known or hypothesised modern human presence (or "settlement", although Paleolithic humans were not sedentary).

Human "settlement" does not necessarily have to be continuous; settled areas in some cases become depopulated due to environmental conditions, such as glacial periods or the Toba volcanic eruption. Early Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa from as early as 270,000 years ago, although permanent presence outside of Africa may not have been established until after about 70,000 years ago.

List of islands of Japan by area

Japan has 6,852 islands. Approximately 430 are inhabited. This list provides basic geographical data of the most prominent islands belonging or claimed by Japan.

Nclaimed but not controlled

List of terrorist incidents in 1994

This is a timeline of incidents in 1994 that have been labelled as "terrorism" and are not believed to have been carried out by a government or its forces (see state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism).

Local Meteorological Observatory

The Local Meteorological Observatory (地方気象台, Chihō Kishōdai), abbreviated to the LMO, is a type of JMA weather station (気象台, Kishōdai) and a part of its local offices (地方支分部局, Chihō Shibun Bukyoku). JMA set up five LMOs in Hokkaido, three in Okinawa and one in another each prefecture which has neither District Meteorological Observatory (管区気象台, Kanku Kishōdai) nor Marine Observatory (海洋気象台, Kaiyō Kishōdai); thus Local Meteorological Observatories count 50 in Japan. They are responsible for local weather services and some of them manage local weather station (測候所, Sokkōjo)s.

On the one hand, by way of exception, although Maizuru Marine Observatory is in Kyoto Prefecture, it's just for the Sea of Japan basin; Instead, Kyoto Local Meteorological Observatory takes over general weather services within the prefecture. On the other hand, Kobe Marine Observatory administers both marine weather affairs and general weather services in Hyogo Prefecture, and Nagasaki Marine Observatory is the same position as the Kobe's.

Minamidaitō, Okinawa

Minamidaitō (南大東村, Minamidaitō-son) is a village located entirely on Minamidaitōjima in Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Minamidaitōjima is located approximately 360 kilometres (220 mi) east of Okinawa Island. Minamidaitō covers 30.7 square kilometres (11.9 sq mi).As of June 2013, the city had a population of 1,418 and a population density of 46.4 people per km².

Ochyrotica concursa

The brown leaffolder (Ochyrotica concursa) is a moth of the family Pterophoridae. It is known from Sri Lanka.

In the past it was also recorded from the Ryukyu Islands (Tokunoshima, Okinawa), as well as in Minamidaitōjima, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, India, the Moluccas and New Guinea, but research suggest these records are not related to this species.

The length of the forewings is 6–7 mm.

The larvae feed on Ipomoea batatas.


Okidaitōjima (沖大東島), also spelled as Oki Daitō Island or Oki-Daitō or Oki-no-Daitō, previously known as Rasa Island (ラサ島, Rasa-tō), is an abandoned island in the Daitō Islands group southeast of Okinawa, Japan. It is administered as part of the village of Kitadaitō, Shimajiri District, Okinawa.

Okinawa Prefecture

Okinawa Prefecture (Japanese: 沖縄県, Hepburn: Okinawa-ken, Okinawan: ウチナー Uchinaa) is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. It encompasses two thirds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long. The Ryukyu Islands extend southwest from Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu (the southwesternmost of Japan's four main islands) to Taiwan. Naha, Okinawa's capital, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island.Although Okinawa Prefecture comprises just 0.6 percent of Japan's total land mass, about 75 percent of all United States military personnel stationed in Japan are assigned to installations in the prefecture. Currently about 26,000 U.S. troops are based in the prefecture.

Rail transport in Okinawa

As of 2005, the Rail transport in Okinawa (沖縄県の鉄道, Okinawa-ken no Tetsudō) consists of only the Okinawa Urban Monorail, the only rail line providing rail transportation in Okinawa Prefecture. In the past, Okinawa Island had railroad, trams, and horse-drawn streetcar service. Moreover, Minamidaitōjima and other islands had rail lines to transport sugarcane and other commodities.

Typhoon Halola

Typhoon Halola, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Goring, was a small but long-lived tropical cyclone in July 2015 that traversed the Pacific Ocean along a 7,640 km (4,750 mi) long path. Halola lasted approximately 16 days. The fifth named storm of the 2015 Pacific hurricane season, Halola originated from a Western Pacific monsoon trough that had expanded into the Central Pacific by July 5. Over the next several days, the system waxed and waned due to changes in wind shear before organizing into a tropical depression on July 10 while over a thousand miles southwest of Hawaii. The depression strengthed into Tropical Storm Halola on the next day as it traveled westward. Halola crossed the International Date Line on July 13 and entered the Western Pacific, where it was immediately recognized as a severe tropical storm. The storm further strengthened into a typhoon on the next day before encountering strong wind shear on July 16. Over the next couple of days, Halola quickly weakened into a tropical depression. However, the shear relaxed and Halola became a typhoon again early on July 21. Later in the day, Halola peaked with 10-minute sustained winds of 150 km/h (90 mph) and a pressure of 955 hPa (28.20 inHg). The typhoon received the name Goring from the PAGASA on July 23 after having maintained a well-defined eye. Halola then began to weaken, falling below typhoon intensity on July 25. Halola made landfall over Kyushu on July 26 as a tropical storm and dissipated in the Tsushima Strait shortly after.

The typhoon initially posed a significant threat to Wake Island, prompting the evacuation of all personnel; however, no damage resulted from its passage. Heavy rains and strong winds buffeted the Ryukyu Islands, with record rainfall observed in Tokunoshima. Damage was relatively limited, though the sugarcane crop sustained ¥154 million (US$1.24 million) in damage. One person was injured in Kyushu.

Typhoon Page (1990)

Typhoon Page, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Tering, was the fourth tropical cyclone to strike Japan in three months and the sixth in 1990. An area of disturbed weather developed on November 5 near the International Date Line. For more than two weeks, the disturbance failed to develop appreciably while it tracked generally westward. The disturbance began to organize on November 17. Four days later, the disturbance was designated a tropical depression, and on November 22, the depression was classified as a tropical storm. After resuming a westward course, Page intensified into a typhoon on November 4. Page then entered a period of rapid deepening before plateauing in intensity early on November 26. Page turned northwest, north, and later northeast as it rounded a subtropical ridge. Because of the change in steering, Page began to encounter stronger wind shear, which resulted in a prolonged weakening trend. On November 30, Page, just offshore Honshu, weakened below typhoon intensity, and became an extratropical cyclone on the same day after making landfall in central Honshu.

Typhoon Page was the record sixth tropical cyclone to directly affect Japan that year. It also was the latest typhoon to hit the country, with the previous mark set by Typhoon Agnes of the 1948 Pacific typhoon season. In Tokyo, 61 homes were damaged and 16 were destroyed. Elsewhere, in Mie Prefecture, 276 homes were damaged and 9 other homes were destroyed. Overall, four fatalities were reported and twelve others suffered injuries. A total of 162 homes were destroyed while 1,544 other houses were flooded. Nearly 35 ha (85 acres) of farmland were damaged. Total damage was estimated at 4.8 billion yen ($33 million USD).

Typhoon Phanfone (2014)

Typhoon Phanfone, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Neneng, was a powerful tropical cyclone which affected Japan in early October 2014. It was the eighteenth named storm and the eighth typhoon of the 2014 Pacific typhoon season.

Typhoon Songda (2004)

Typhoon Songda, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Nina, was the third-costliest typhoon on record. The 18th named storm of the 2004 Pacific typhoon season, Songda developed on August 26 near the Marshall Islands. Following a path that Typhoon Chaba took nine days prior, Songda moved west-northwestward and strengthened quickly amid favorable conditions.

USS Hornet (CV-12)

USS Hornet (CV/CVA/CVS-12) is an Essex-class aircraft carrier built for the United States Navy (USN) during World War II. Completed in late 1943, the ship was assigned to the Fast Carrier Task Force (variously designated as Task Force 38 or 58) in the Pacific Ocean, the navy's primary offensive force during the Pacific War. In early 1944, she participated in attacks on Japanese installations in New Guinea, Palau and Truk among others. Hornet then took part in the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign and most of the subsidiary operations, most notably the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June that was nicknamed the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" for the disproportionate losses inflicted upon the Japanese. The ship then participated in the Philippines Campaign in late 1944, and the Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign in the first half of 1945. She was badly damaged by a typhoon in June and had to return to the United States for repairs.

After the war she took part in Operation Magic Carpet, returning troops to the U.S. and was then placed in reserve in 1946. Hornet was reactivated during the Korean War of 1950–1953, but spent the rest of the war being modernized to allow her to operate jet-propelled aircraft. The ship was modernized again in the late 1950s for service as an anti-submarine carrier. She played a minor role in the Vietnam War during the 1960s and in the Apollo program, recovering the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 astronauts as they returned from the Moon.

Hornet was decommissioned in 1970. She was eventually designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark, and she opened to the public as the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California, in 1998.

USS Trathen (DD-530)

USS Trathen (DD-530) was a World War II-era Fletcher-class destroyer in the service of the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946 and 1951 to 1965.


Ōike (大池) is a karst pond on Minamidaitōjima, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Ōike is the largest pond containing both freshwater and seawater. It covers 0.31 square kilometres (0.12 sq mi), the circumference is 5.50 kilometres (3.42 mi), and it is 1.3 metres (4 ft 3 in) at its deepest point. Fresh water is mixed with seawater beneath.

Climate data for Minamidaitō
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.1
Average low °C (°F) 13.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 108.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9.5 8.6 8.7 7.5 10.3 10.6 10.0 12.8 8.9 9.7 9.7 9.0 115.3
Average relative humidity (%) 70 72 75 80 84 87 82 82 81 76 74 70 78
Mean monthly sunshine hours 117.3 114.0 141.4 171.5 177.0 200.2 262.4 233.4 227.4 181.3 122.7 106.5 2,055.1
Percent possible sunshine 35 36 38 45 43 49 63 58 62 51 38 33 46
Source: NOAA (1961-1990) [2]


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