Originally Posted by Nancy McClelland
I wonder how long that has been there.
I did a bit of research on that.
Apparently the island was used for secret poison gas factories during the second world war. Ruins of the factories remain, with signposts (in Japanese). Although the storage tanks were removed there seems to be a fairly extensive underground complex which is inaccessible due to the danger. The soil on the island is fairly badly contaminated in some places by toxic waste materials from the factories, so there are no full time inhabitants (apparently the last was moved out in about 2000).
The rabbits are descendents of escapees (or releases) from the poison gas tests. There is a hotel for tourists which caters to the tourists who come to see the bunnies, which appears to be providing water bowls and food for the rabbits.