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Marcus Island

Travel Guide Asia Japan Marcus Island

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Introduction

Minami-Tori-shima ("Southern Bird Island"), also known as Marcus Island, is an isolated Japanese coral atoll in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, located some 1,848 kilometres southeast of Tokyo and 1,267 kilometres east of the closest Japanese island, South Iwo Jima of the Ogasawara Islands, and nearly on a straight line between mainland Tokyo and the United States' Wake Island, 1,415 kilometres further to the east-southeast. The closest island to Minami-Tori-shima is East Island in the Mariana Islands, which is 1,015 kilometres to the west-southwest. The meaning of its Japanese name is "Southern Bird Island". It is the easternmost territory belonging to Japan, and the only Japanese territory on the Pacific Plate, past the Japan Trench. Although very small (just over 1 km2) and without a civilian population, it is of strategic importance, as it enables Japan to claim a 428,875 square kilometres Exclusive Economic Zone in the surrounding waters. It is also the easternmost territory of Tokyo, being administratively part of Ogasawara village.

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Geography

Minami-Tori-shima is triangular in shape, and unusual in that it has a saucer-like profile, with a raised outer rim of between 5 and 9 metres above sea level. The central area of the island is 1 metre below sea level. Minami-Tori-shima is surrounded by a fringing reef which ranges from 50 to 300 metres in width, enclosing a shallow lagoon, which is connected with the open ocean by narrow passages on the southern and northeastern sides. Outside the reef, the ocean depths quickly plunge to over 1,000 metres. The island has a total land area of 1.2 square kilometres. The island also has the highest average temperature in Japan.

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Weather

Minami-Tori-shima has a tropical savanna climate, with warm to hot temperatures throughout the year. The wettest months are July and August, while the driest months are February and March.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 13:32 on Mar 16, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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