Yonaguni
与那国町
Dunan
Town
Yonaguni Montage
Location of Yonaguni in Okinawa Prefecture
Yonaguni
Yonaguni
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 24°28′5″N 123°0′17″E / 24.46806°N 123.00472°E / 24.46806; 123.00472Coordinates: 24°28′5″N 123°0′17″E / 24.46806°N 123.00472°E / 24.46806; 123.00472
CountryJapan
RegionKyushu (Okinawa)
PrefectureOkinawa Prefecture
DistrictYaeyama
Government
 • MayorShukichi Hokama
Area
 • Total28.95 km2 (11.18 sq mi)
Population
 (October 1, 2016)
 • Total2,048
 • Density58.2/km2 (151/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address129 Aza-Yonaguni, Yonaguni-chō, Yaeyama-gun, Okinawa-ken
907-1801
Websitewww.town.yonaguni.okinawa.jp
Symbols
BirdJapanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus)
ButterflyAtlas moth (Attacus atlas)
FlowerLily (Lilium)
TreeChinese fan palm (Livistona chinensis)
Japan's Westernmost Point Monument
Japan's Westernmost Point Monument
Reverse side of Japan's Westernmost Point Monument
Reverse side of Japan's Westernmost Point Monument

Yonaguni (与那国, Yonaguni-chō, Yonaguni: Dunan, older Juni,[1] Yaeyama: Yunoon, Okinawan: Yunaguni) is a town located entirely on Yonaguni Island in Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is the westernmost municipality in Japan, and is known for billfish fishing and as a diving spot. In 1987, divers discovered the Yonaguni Monument, a rock formation that some believe may be man-made.

It is also home to two Ryūkyūan writing systems, pictographic "kaida-di" (also used on Ishigaki and Taketomi islands where it is called "kaida-ji") and the symbols used to indicate family names, "dāhan" (also used on Ishigaki Island where they are called "yāban").

History

Presently, the oldest confirmed ruins are the Tuguru Beach ruins. Due to the southern style stone tools found, it is thought that a culture influenced by Southeast Asia existed here at one time.

After this point, the history of the island of Yonaguni is unclear, but in the Gusuku Era, settlements were formed on the top of the plateau. The Shima Nakamura Ruins are one example, and it is known for being the birth village of the famous woman chief, San’ai Isoba.

From the time of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, Yonaguni prospered as a commerce center with Taiwan. Due to World War II, until it was placed under control of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, the number of people involved in smuggling surged in the area. The population in 1947 had reached 12,000, but although Yonaguni became incorporated as a town, a crackdown on smuggling led to a sharp decrease in the population.[2]

Ishigaki and the surrounding towns and cities are discussing a merger, with the exception of Yonaguni which abstained, cutting the members of parliament from 12 in half, down to 6.

Geography

Rivers

Population

Historical population
YearPop.±%
19802,119—    
19852,054−3.1%
19901,833−10.8%
19951,801−1.7%
20001,852+2.8%
20051,796−3.0%
2005 Census, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications - Statistics Department
Comparison of Population Distribution between Yonaguni and Japanese National Average Population Distribution by Age and Sex in Yonaguni
Yonaguni
Japan (average)
Male
Female
1970 2,913
1975 2,155
1980 2,119
1985 2,054
1990 1,833
1995 1,801
2000 1,852
2005 1,796
2010 1,657
2015 Census, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications - Statistics Department

Administration

Transportation

Ferry Yonakuni
Ferry Yonakuni

Airport

Yonaguni Airport

Harbors

Kubura Harbor

Sonai Harbor

Roads

(Rental cars are available)

Bus

Region

Education

Because there are no high schools on the island, students entering high school must attend on the Okinawa mainland or on the island of Ishigaki, and 100% of junior-high schoolers continue on to high school.[3]

Famous places and historic sites

Yonaguni Monument

Main article: Yonaguni Monument

Animals of special significance

Broadcasting

Television broadcasts consist of translator stations in Yonaguni and Uchimichi and radio broadcasts are established from the Yonaguni television translator station. It is also the only place in Japan where all three NHK Radio stations are on the FM band. In addition, Yonaguni receives Taiwanese television broadcasts (Taiwan Television (TTV), China Television (CTV), and Chinese Television System (CTS)), along with Taiwanese radio broadcasts.

List of broadcast station frequencies

TV translator frequencies

Location NHK General NHK Educational Ryukyu Broadcasting Corporation (RBC) Okinawa Television (OTV)
Yonaguni 37 39 41 43
Uchimichi 49 51 53 55

Radio translator frequencies (MHz)

Location NHK1 NHK2 NHK3 Ryukyu Broadcasting Corporation (RBCi) Radio Okinawa (ROK)
Yonaguni 83.5 80.3 85.8 84.7 79.5

Other information

Through the cell towers on the east side of Taiwan that are geographically close to Yonaguni, it is possible, depending on the weather, to receive GSM phone service on Taiwanese phones from Irizaki (and it is possible that GSM phones from international carriers could use the service while roaming).

References

  1. ^ Vovin 2010, pp. 43–44.
  2. ^ 「与那国「国境交流特区」がめざすもの」 Archived October 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine (Yonaguni), page 1 (in Japanese)
  3. ^ 『日本の島ガイド SHIMADAS(シマダス)』Foundation of Japanese Outlying Islands, Inc., 2004 (in Japanese)