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Japanese islands discovered through digital mapping


Japan recounted its islands – and found it had 7,000 more than it had previously thought.

Digital mapping from the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) recently revealed that there are 14,125 islands in Japanese territory, more than double the figure of 6,852 officially used since a 1987 report by the Japanese Coast Guard. .

However, the GSI pointed out this week that the new figure reflected advances in surveying technology and the detail of the maps used for counting – it did not change the overall amount of land in Japan’s possession.

He said that although there is no international agreement on how to count islands, he used the same size criterion as the previous survey 35 years ago.

This involved counting all natural land areas with a circumference of at least 100 meters (330 ft).

The new number does not include any artificially reclaimed land.

The islands surrounding Japan have been at the center of several territorial disputes.

Japan claims the Russian-held South Kuril Islands, which Tokyo calls the Northern Territories, a dispute that dates back to the end of World War II when Soviet troops seized them from Japan.

Japan also claims it has a historic claim to the uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which it currently administers, but China has repeatedly disputed that claim.

Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea remain locked in a more than 70-year dispute over the sovereignty of a group of islets known as Dokdo by Seoul and Takeshima by Tokyo in the Sea of ​​Japan, which Korea calls the East Sea.

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