"Tsushima Wildcat Airport" Gradually Catching On - Islanders Took One Year to Choose

Since Tsushima Airport (Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture) chose "Tsushima Wildcat Airport" as its nickname in January this year, it has gradually caught on among the area’s islanders and visitors to the airport.

Last year the city of Tsushima formed a nickname investigation committee to create a more intimate relationship with the airport operated by the prefecture. The submission, selection and voting process lasted approximately one year until this past January, when “Tsushima Wildcat Airport” was adopted.

The committee selected ten candidates from the 1,606 submissions received from within and outside the prefecture, then conducted a vote among a total of 3,195 municipal elementary and junior high students. The winning nickname garnered 954 votes, far more than the runner-up, "Tsushima Pearl Airport", which received 540. The committee then held another discussion and finalized the selection. Comments explaining the reason for the choice included: "It gives the right impression of Tsushima"; "It’s friendly and easy to read"; and "It has a lot of support."

The Tsushima wildcat is a rare, nationally protected species that only inhabits Tsushima Island. A city official stated that as the animal is in danger of extinction, "The nickname expresses the islanders' desire to protect the Tsushima wildcat. We will be pleased if we can spread that sentiment to airport visitors."

Since adopting the name, the airport has placed Tsushima wildcat pictures and illustrations in the arrival lobby, and the nickname appears on timetables and elsewhere with the aim of increasing the familiarity of the airport's name.