The strait is located between Miyako and Okinawa

The Miyako Strait (宮古海峡, Miyako Kaikyō, Miyako: Myāku Kaikyū), also known as the Kerama Gap, is a waterway which lies between Miyako Island and Okinawa Island consisting of a 250km-wide passageway with international waters and airspace.[1] It is the widest strait in the Ryukyu Islands.

Political significance

The Miyako Strait is of global geopolitical significance, as it is one of the few international waterways for China's People's Liberation Army Navy to access the Pacific Ocean from the East China Sea.[2] The PLA Navy used the strait on a large scale for the first time in April 2010,[3] an act which has since become a commonplace practice for them to conduct military exercises in the Pacific.[4][5]

Cultural significance

The Miyako Strait represents a cultural and linguistic split between the Southern and Northern Ryukyuan languages, with the north being more influenced by Japanese culture. The Northern Ryukyu Islands have historically been more advanced (socially, technologically, and infrastructurally) than the Southern Ryukyu Islands.[6]


  1. ^ Diplomat, Franz-Stefan Gady, The. "China Flies 6 Heavy Long-Range Bombers Near Japan". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2018-02-27.((cite news)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "China dispatches one of its largest air force fleets ever near Okinawa in show of force to Japan". South China Morning Post. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  3. ^ China's Navy Gets Its Act Together, and Gets Aggressive | Danger Room |
  4. ^ China Says No Japan Maritime Deal in Place
  5. ^ US can no longer contain China within First Island Chain: Duowei Archived 2014-11-03 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  6. ^ Kerr, George H. Okinawa: History of an Island People. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1958. 116-117.

25°23′N 126°25′E / 25.383°N 126.417°E / 25.383; 126.417