Miyakojima
宮古島市
Myaaku
Hirara town1.JPG
Flag of Miyakojima
Official seal of Miyakojima
Outline of Miyakojima (in red) in Okinawa Prefecture
Outline of Miyakojima (in red) in Okinawa Prefecture
Miyakojima is located in Japan
Miyakojima
Miyakojima
Location of Miyakojima in Okinawa Prefecture
Coordinates: 24°48′20″N 125°16′52″E / 24.80556°N 125.28111°E / 24.80556; 125.28111Coordinates: 24°48′20″N 125°16′52″E / 24.80556°N 125.28111°E / 24.80556; 125.28111
CountryJapan
RegionKyushu (Okinawa)
PrefectureOkinawa Prefecture
Government
 • MayorKazuyuki Zakimi
Area
 • Total204.54 km2 (78.97 sq mi)
Population
 (December, 2012)
 • Total54,908
 • Density268.45/km2 (695.3/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeBanyan
- FlowerBougainvillea and tiger's claw
- BirdGrey-faced buzzard
- ButterflyPaper kite
- FishDouble-lined fusilier (Pterocaesio digramma)
- ShellChiragra spider conch (Lambis chiragra)
Phone number0980-72-3751
Address186 Hirara Nishizato, Miyakojima-shi 906-8501
ClimateAf
Websitewww.city.miyakojima.lg.jp(in Japanese)
Maipama Beach in Miyakojima
Maipama Beach in Miyakojima

Miyakojima (宮古島市, Miyakojima-shi, Miyako: Myaaku, Okinawan: Naaku) is a city in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, located on the Miyako Islands. As of 2012, it had a population of 54,908. The current mayor is Kazuyuki Zakimi, who took office on January 25, 2021.

History

Former Miyakojima City Hall Hirara Building
Former Miyakojima City Hall Hirara Building

The modern city of Miyakojima was established on October 1, 2005, from the merger of the old city of Hirara, the towns of Gusukube, Irabu and Shimoji, and the village of Ueno (all from Miyako District). As a result of the merger, Miyako District only has one remaining village.

Geography

Since the city was created by merging several towns that were located on different islands, the city of Miyakojima consists of multiple islands. The islands administered by the city include:

Several of the islands are connected by bridge.

Ogami-jima is the only island that is not connected by bridge and must be reached by boat.

Demographics

As of December 2012 the city has an estimated population of 54,908 and a population density of 268.45 per km2. The total area is 204.54 km2. The city had 24,728 households.[1] This makes it the ninth-largest city in Okinawa Prefecture.

Government

National government

The city, along with the cities of Ishigaki, Itoman, and Tomigusuku, lies in Okinawa 4th district, which elects one representative to the House of Representatives (lower house). The current representative is Kosaburo Nishime of the Liberal Democratic Party.[2] The entire prefecture of Okinawa elects two representatives (one each three years) to the House of Councillors (upper house). The current representatives are:

Prefectural government

See also: Okinawa Prefectural Assembly

The city forms most of the "Miyakojima constituency" (along with Tarama island) and elects two members to the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly.[5] Representatives are elected for a term of 4 years.[6]

Local government

Miyakojima City Hall
Miyakojima City Hall

Mayor

The current mayor of Miyakojima is Kazuyuki Zakimi (born 1949). He took office on January 25, 2021,[7] after defeating the incumbent Toshihiko Shimoji (born 1945) on the January 17, 2021 election. Zakimi was endorsed by the Constitutional Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, while Shimoji was endorsed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

Previous mayors of the city (since the 2005 merger) include:

City council

The Miyakojima City Council consists of 24 people. Most formally register as independent but are members of a caucus.[8]

Number of members by formal party affiliation:

Transportation

The city of Miyakojima is served by two airports. Miyako Airport (MMY), the main commercial airport, is located on Miyako Island; and Shimoji Airport, initially a private field, is now a Class 3 facility operated by the prefectural government located on Shimojishima. This nearby island is close enough to be connected by a causeway bridge to the larger Miyako Island.[citation needed]

Economy

Agriculture and livestock are the core financial industries in Miyakojima, with the main exports consisting of sugar cane, tobacco, cattle, and mango. Fisheries and seaweed farms, producing species such as mozuku and sea lettuce, can be found in and around areas like Ikemajima and Irabujima. However, each year more and more land formerly used for agriculture is being sold and converted into residential and retail buildings.[9]

The tourism industry is a steadily growing component of Miyakojima's economy. Traveling to the islands is facilitated primarily through airlines and cruise lines. With the addition of international flights made available through the opening of Shimoji Airport in 2019, flights connecting to Miyako have been increasing – over 730,000 plane tickets entering into Miyakojima were purchased in 2019 alone.[10] Since 2016 cruises have been a significant catalyst to Miyakojima's tourism industry, notably megaships servicing international tourists.[11][12] Efforts to introduce space travel have also been announced, as PD Aerospace proposes to create a spaceport at Shimojijima airport and begin flights in 2025.[13] The islands are popular tourist destinations because of the clear blue sea and white beaches. There are several golf clubs on the islands.

There are six breweries on the islands and a chemical plant that converts sugar cane into ethanol.[14]

Facilities

Education

There are a total of 3 high schools in the city, including one technical high school and one business high school.

There are 13 middle schools, including one that has been recently closed, and one special school for the intellectually disabled.

There are two schools that are both elementary and middle schools.

There are 15 elementary schools.

Medical

There are two hospitals: one public, and one private.

Museum

There is one museum, the Miyakojima City Museum.

Meeting venues

There are five community centers, one municipal theater, a City Hall, three "Remote Island Promotion Centers" (one each for Ikemajima, Irabujima, and Kurimajima), and three "Rural Environment Improvement Centers".

Gymnasium/Athletic Center

There are two gymnasiums, three baseball fields, three other athletic fields, and two "physical education centers".

Transportation

Miyako Airport
Miyako Airport

Airports

There are two airports: Miyako Airport and Shimojishima Airport.

Ports

There are four ports:

Most boat travel takes place between one of the ports and Futenma port on the Island of Okinawa. There is also travel between Miyako Island and Ogamijima, the only island that is not connected by bridge.

Roads

Irabu Bridge
Irabu Bridge

Part of Japanese National Highway 390 runs across the island. The highway consists of two sections: a section that transverses Ishigaki Island, and the section that transverses Miyako Island. The two sections used to be connected by boat, but boat service was discontinued and now the two sections of the highway are disconnected.[15]

Numerous prefectural roads traverse the islands.

Bus

Bus services are provided by four bus operators, that service a total of nine lines:

Media

Newspapers

There are two major newspapers in the city:

Broadcast

Communication

Mail

Mail collection and delivery is handled by the Miyako Post Office. There are several other smaller post offices that people use to drop off mail.

Phone

The entire city has the same area code: 0980 (since 2002).

Climate

Higashi-Hennazaki
Higashi-Hennazaki

The climate of Miyakojima is on the boundary between a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) and a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very warm summers and mild winters. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year; August is the wettest month, and January and July are the driest.

Miyako Sunayama Beach
Miyako Sunayama Beach
Climate data for Miyakojima (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1937−present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.0
(80.6)
27.6
(81.7)
28.6
(83.5)
30.7
(87.3)
33.3
(91.9)
35.1
(95.2)
35.3
(95.5)
34.2
(93.6)
34.2
(93.6)
32.5
(90.5)
30.9
(87.6)
28.8
(83.8)
35.3
(95.5)
Average high °C (°F) 20.6
(69.1)
21.1
(70.0)
22.8
(73.0)
25.1
(77.2)
27.7
(81.9)
30.3
(86.5)
31.7
(89.1)
31.3
(88.3)
30.1
(86.2)
27.8
(82.0)
25.3
(77.5)
22.2
(72.0)
26.4
(79.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.3
(64.9)
18.6
(65.5)
20.1
(68.2)
22.5
(72.5)
25.0
(77.0)
27.7
(81.9)
28.9
(84.0)
28.6
(83.5)
27.6
(81.7)
25.5
(77.9)
23.1
(73.6)
20.0
(68.0)
23.8
(74.8)
Average low °C (°F) 16.3
(61.3)
16.6
(61.9)
17.9
(64.2)
20.4
(68.7)
23.0
(73.4)
25.7
(78.3)
26.8
(80.2)
26.5
(79.7)
25.6
(78.1)
23.8
(74.8)
21.3
(70.3)
18.2
(64.8)
21.9
(71.4)
Record low °C (°F) 6.9
(44.4)
7.3
(45.1)
8.6
(47.5)
11.4
(52.5)
15.2
(59.4)
17.4
(63.3)
21.4
(70.5)
21.2
(70.2)
19.7
(67.5)
17.2
(63.0)
12.9
(55.2)
9.6
(49.3)
6.9
(44.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 138.8
(5.46)
119.8
(4.72)
138.7
(5.46)
148.7
(5.85)
222.3
(8.75)
194.7
(7.67)
151.6
(5.97)
257.4
(10.13)
259.3
(10.21)
157.9
(6.22)
139.8
(5.50)
147.2
(5.80)
2,076
(81.73)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm) 14.3 12.0 12.4 11.3 11.7 11.0 10.6 14.0 13.2 11.2 12.5 13.9 148.2
Average relative humidity (%) 72 74 76 79 82 84 80 81 79 75 74 71 77
Mean monthly sunshine hours 85.5 90.3 116.0 122.9 149.3 191.9 241.0 210.9 179.3 151.9 112.3 92.7 1,743.9
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[18]

Environmental initiatives

Wind Turbines in Nishi-Hennazaki, Miyakojima
Wind Turbines in Nishi-Hennazaki, Miyakojima

In 2008, the city announced the first "Declaration of Eco Island Miyakojima" with a goal to encourage industrial development and environmental conservation, notably of ground water sources and coral reefs.[19] This initiative was also focused on creating a self-sustaining energy supply primarily through low-cost solar energy.

As of 2009, the city has been certified as an Eco-Model City. A second version of the Declaration of Eco Island Miyakojima was introduced under the slogan "Toward the Future 1,000 Years From Now" in 2018, with an action plan released in 2019.[20] This updated version maintains similar goals with some added initiatives such as the eradication of foreign animal species, namely peacocks, and the reduction of household waste discharge.[21] Under this second declaration, a greater emphasis has been placed on the promotion of these environmental initiatives through actions such as the establishment of an Eco Island Miyakojima brand, the creation of a contests, and the integration of environmental sustainability education into local public schools.[20]

In 2019, the city was awarded a gold medal, also known as the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry Prize, in the New Energy Awards for its efforts in proliferating solar energy throughout the island.[22]

German influence

Ueno German Culture Village
Ueno German Culture Village

In 1873, the German ship Robertson was shipwrecked on Miyako Island.[23] The crew were saved and cared for by the local islanders. As a gift for the islanders' kindness, and as an excuse for German warships to enter Ryūkyūan waters, Kaiser Wilhelm I erected a monument on the island in 1876, known locally as the German Emperor's Tributary Monument or the Friendship Monument.[23] After Japan annexed the Ryūkyū Kingdom, Japan used this as evidence of a history of friendship between Japan and Germany.[23]

In 1987, the Ueno German Culture Village opened in Ueno village, Miyako.[24] Internet websites under the name Ueno German Cultural Village can be easily found, however Ueno Village, Miyako Island, no longer exists as a jurisdiction since, as mentioned above, all of the separate cities, towns and villages on the island were merged into Miyakojima city in 2005.[citation needed]

Sister cities

In Japan

Outside Japan

Notable residents

Gallery

References

  1. ^ 宮古島市の人口 [Population of Miyakojima City] (in Japanese). Miyakojima City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan: Miyakojima City. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  2. ^ "Members N_The House of Representatives,Japan". www.shugiin.go.jp. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  3. ^ "Mr.IHA Yoichi:House of Councillors". www.sangiin.go.jp. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  4. ^ "Mr.TAKARA Tetsumi:House of Councillors". www.sangiin.go.jp. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  5. ^ "県議会の組織/沖縄県". www.pref.okinawa.jp. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  6. ^ "県議会の役割/沖縄県". www.pref.okinawa.jp. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  7. ^ "宮古島市長に新人座喜味氏 現職下地氏に2782票差 「市民本位の施策へ」". 琉球新報. 2021-01-17. Archived from the original on 2021-01-17.
  8. ^ a b "議会議員名簿|行政情報|宮古島市". www.city.miyakojima.lg.jp. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  9. ^ "農地転用が急増/市農業委18年度まとめ | 宮古毎日新聞社ホームページ -宮古島の最新ニュースが満載!-". www.miyakomainichi.com. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  10. ^ "入域観光客数について|行政情報|宮古島市". www.city.miyakojima.lg.jp. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  11. ^ "Cruise liner influx overwhelming Miyakojima's economy". The Japan Times. 2016-12-09. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  12. ^ "来年は300回超計画/平良港へのクルーズ船寄港 | 宮古毎日新聞社ホームページ -宮古島の最新ニュースが満載!-". www.miyakomainichi.com. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  13. ^ "PDエアロスペース、沖縄に宇宙旅行拠点 25年度開始". 日本経済新聞 (in Japanese). 2020-09-11. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  14. ^ "バイオエタ事業化 今年度で実証事業終了 | 宮古毎日新聞社ホームページ -宮古島の最新ニュースが満載!-". www.miyakomainichi.com. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  15. ^ Asai, Kenji (2001). Dictionary for Understanding Roads and Bridges. Tokyo: Nihon Jitsugyo Publishing Co. , Ltd. ISBN 4-534-03315-X.
  16. ^ "宮古島市内バス路線について|市の組織|宮古島市". www.city.miyakojima.lg.jp. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  17. ^ "総務省|沖縄総合通信事務所|エフエム沖縄が宮古島市でも受信可能に!". 総務省 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  18. ^ 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  19. ^ "エコアイランド宮古島宣言|行政情報|宮古島市". www.city.miyakojima.lg.jp. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  20. ^ a b "エコアイランド宮古島宣言2.0". City of Miyakojima.
  21. ^ "宮古島市環境モデル都市行動計画" (PDF). City of Miyakojima. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  22. ^ "令和元年度 新エネ大賞 | 新エネ大賞-New Energy Award- | 一般財団法人 新エネルギー財団". www.nef.or.jp. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  23. ^ a b c Kerr, George. Okinawa: History of an Island People. Tokyo, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1958. Page 410.
  24. ^ http://www.hakuaiueno.com/ 沖縄宮古島の「うえのドイツ文化村」ホームページ
  25. ^ "Domestic Exchange". Muroran City. 23 Apr 2003. Retrieved 4 Aug 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "Miyakojima City Handbook - Miyakojima that you can see" (PDF). Miyakojima City Website. 2016. Retrieved 4 Aug 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "City of Exchange". Fujieda City. 1 Jan 2012. Retrieved 4 Aug 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. ^ "友好都市・交流都市|藤枝市ホームページ". www.city.fujieda.shizuoka.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  29. ^ "宮古島市との姉妹都市縁組50周年記念事業(実施しました)". 津山市公式サイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-08-04.