JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.90

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The Ogasawara Islands

The Ogasawara Islands
The Ogasawara Islands

The Ogasawara Islands are a volcanic archipelago of around 30 islands of varying sizes in the Western Pacific Ocean that lie to the south of Tokyo and include Chichijima island and Hahajima island.

The islands have a subtropical climate and a characteristic ecosystem unlike any other on earth has evolved there thanks to their isolation from other land masses. Approx. half of the wild vegetation found on the Ogasawara Islands is native species peculiar to the island chain. The islands were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011 because of the value presented by this rich and unique natural environment.

Minami Torishima Island is the easternmost point in Japan and approx. 1,900 km southeast from Tokyo. It is also located almost exactly on theTropic of Cancer. Minami Torishima Island is home to JMSDF Minami Torishima Air Base and a meteorological observatory that employ both JMSDF personnel and Japan Meteorological Agency staff. JMSDF personnel support the operations of aircraft and maintain facilities on the island.

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