Japan Has Discovered 7000 Unknown Islands, Almost Doubling Its Island Count

Japan has recently made an effort to recount its islands and found that it has more than 7,000 islands, much higher than previously believed.

Digital mapping carried out by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) in the last week discovered 14125 islands on Japanese territory, which is more than double the number of 6,852 which has been used in the official system since 1987, when Japan’s Coast Guard issued its report.

However, it was noted that the GSI this week emphasized that the latest figures reflect technological advances in surveying and the precision of maps used to calculate the count. It did not alter the total area of Japan’s land.

It stated that although there is yet to be an international consensus regarding how to count islands, the survey had applied the same size criteria similar to the previous study, which was conducted 35 years ago. This basically means that they considered the basic rule of counting natural land mass with 100m circumference as an island.

The new figure does not contain any land that has been artificially reclaimed.

Japan also claims the Southern Kuri Islands, which are currently controlled by Russian authorities, as Northern Territories. This argument began after World War II ended and the island was seized by the Soviets. Similarly, on the other side, Japan admits to having ancient claims to the Senkaku islands, currently looked over by China.

Primarily these two disputes have led to the invasion of the airspace of Japan multiple times, and many jets had to be sent to scramble Chinese and Russian Spy jets.

While this is happening, Japan and South Korea remain in a more than 70-year-old dispute regarding the sovereignty of a collection of islets referred to by the names of Dokdo in Seoul or Takeshima near Tokyo located in the Sea of Japan, which Korea refers to as “the East Sea.”

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