Japan Discovers Over 7,000 New Islands
7,000 new islands discovered in Japan. PHOTO/ DOC JAPAN TIMES
TOKYO – Japan discovered more than 7,000 islands that were never known to exist in the country through a recent mapping exercise.
Digital mapping by the Japan Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) found that there are 14,125 islands on Japanese territory, more than double the 6,852 figure officially used since 1987 by the Japanese Coast Guard.
The GSI emphasized that the new figures reflect advances in surveying technology and the details of the maps used for calculations but do not change the total area of land owned by Japan.
While there is no international agreement on how islands are counted, the GSI uses the same size criteria as the previous survey 35 years ago.
The method involves calculating all natural land areas with a minimum circumference of 100 meters.
According to the Japan Times, the latest figures do not include the number of artificial islands that have been built.
The islands around Japan have previously been the center of several territorial disputes.
Japan claims the Kuril Islands are controlled by Russia and the dispute dates back to the end of the Second World War after Soviet troops seized the area.
Japan also claims historical claims to the uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, but China has repeatedly challenged those claims.
The nation of the rising sun is also locked in a more than 70-year dispute with South Korea over the sovereignty of the island group known as Dokdo by Seoul and Takeshima by Tokyo in the East Sea.