The quiet Japanese island paradise on the frontline of growing Taiwan-China tensions

Yonaguni is a tourist hotspot – but its location just 100km from Taiwan means residents must wrestle with the creeping militarisation of their home

In the minds of many Japanese people, Yonaguni is a sleepy paradise of crystal-clear sea and pristine beaches, where miniature horses graze on clifftops and empty roads dissect fields of sugar cane; where tourists dive with hammerhead sharks and marvel at the Ayamihabiru – the world’s largest Atlas moth.

But this tiny island, located far closer to Taipei than Tokyo, now finds itself at the centre of regional tensions triggered by a new round of Chinese aggression towards Taiwan.

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