Ishigaki (pop. 46,000 in 1989) is the second largest island in the nineteen-island Yaeyama group in the Ryukyu archipelago, which is located about 1,700km south-west of Tokyo (see Figure 12.1). Ishigaki has a tropical climate, and its economy is largely based on agriculture, construction and tourism. The Okinawa prefectural government plans to build a new airport with a 2,000m runway on a 100ha site. This airport will replace the existing airport and its 1,500m runway which is considered too short for jet traffic. Most of Ishigaki’s residents view the proposed New Ishigaki Airport as a way to bring more tourists to the island, provide greater access for locally produced goods to mainland markets and boost the island’s construction industry.