Kitadaito phosphate mine to become National Historic Site
The National Council for Cultural Affairs announced Friday that it had submitted a report to Senior Vice Minister of Education Hirokazu Matsuno specifying the old Kitadaitou Island phosphate mine as a National Historic Site to be announced shortly in the official journal.
The mine was in operation from 1919 to 1950. It produced phosphate that was used to make chemical fertilizer. It is the only site in Japan where a concentration of phosphate production facilities for excavating, drying, transportation, storage, and piling in a large scale remains. It highlights the importance of the industry of phosphate mining that supported the modernization of Japanese agriculture.
The mine site will be the 40th National Historic Site in Okinawa. The Kitadaito phosphate mine remains are located on the westernmost part of Kitadaito Island. The specified site is about 94,149 square meters including the area of the mine and storage facilities.
Many kinds of production facilities dot the premises, like the remains of the mine, “trocco” (railway) tracks, storage facilities, cargo pier, and boat lift yard. The remains of the storage and cargo pier are called “the elephant nose,” and are registered as National Tangible Cultural Properties. Another National Tangible Cutural Property of “Kyu Touyou Seitou Kitadaitou Syuccyoujo”, a sugar factory remains is located nearby.