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Agarizaki lighthouse in the east of the island
Agarizaki lighthouse in the east of the island
Waters East China Sea
Archipelago Yaeyama Islands
Geographical location 24 ° 27 '  N , 122 ° 59'  E Coordinates: 24 ° 27 '  N , 122 ° 59'  E
Yonaguni (Okinawa Prefecture)
length 11 km
width 4 km
surface 28.95 km²
Highest elevation Urabu-dake
231.4  m
Residents 1491 (January 1, 2015)
52 inhabitants / km²
main place Kubura

Yonaguni ( Japanese 与那国島 , -jima ) is in the far southwest of Japan in the East China Sea located island , just 110 km from Taiwan away. The western tip of the island, Cape Irizaki, is the westernmost point of Japan.

Not far from Yonaguni, a terraced monolith was found in front of the island in the 1980s , which, due to its geometry and shape, gives the appearance of being made by human hands and which has become known as the Yonaguni Monument .


Yonaguni is counted among the Yaeyama Islands and has an area of ​​28.95 km². As of January 1, 2015, the population of the island was 1491 people in 773 households. The annual average temperature is approx. 23.9 ° C and the annual rainfall approx. 3,000 mm.

On the island, the small town (located chō ) Yonaguni to the district Yaeyama the prefecture of Okinawa belongs.


Trade relations with Okinawa Hontō are documented for the 14th century . Yonaguni was independent until 1522 under the controversial, gigantic leader San'ai Isoba. It then belonged to the Ryūkyū Kingdom and was also included in Japan in 1879 with its incorporation. From 1945 to 1972 it was occupied by the USA . This resulted in the peculiarity that the US occupation authorities put the border between the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) of Taiwan and Japan on the 123rd east longitude and thus the western half of the island with the Yonaguni airport were part of the ADIZ of Taiwan. Because of this, on June 25, 2010, Japan adapted its own ADIZ to the expansion of its territorial waters by expanding it locally by 12 nautical miles .

Underwater pyramids

Structures on the sea floor off Yonaguni

see main article: Yonaguni Monument

In 1985 the Japanese diver Kihachiro Aratake discovered large-scale structures with traces of flora, fauna and stalactites on the sea floor off Yonaguni . The structure of the monolith is rectangular throughout. It seems as if stairs and steps have been carefully carved into the rock. It is debatable whether the monolith, which resembles a pyramid , was formed by natural erosion over thousands of years, or whether an early culture carved the rock.

See also

Web links

Commons : Yonagunijima  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Japan's island off Taiwan. In: Asienspiegel , April 21, 2014.

Individual evidence

  1. a b 指定 離島 ・ 指定 離島 一 覧 . (PDF) In: 離島 関係 資料 (平 成 28 年 1 月) . 沖 縄 県 企 画 部 地域 ・ 離島 課 (“Land and Islands Unit, Planning Department, Okinawa Prefecture”), January 2016, p. 1 , accessed on 3. August 2016 (Japanese).
  2. Shih Hsiu-chuan: Japan extends ADIZ into Taiwan space. In: Taipei Times. June 26, 2010, accessed November 25, 2013 .