More territory or controversy? Japan just found 7,000 islands it didn’t know it had
Japan finds it has 7,000 more than previously thought, digital mapping by Japan’s Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) showed. With this, the total number of islands in Japanese territory has risen to 14,125, more than double the figure of 6,852 that has been in official use since a 1987 report by Japan’s coast guard, CNN reported.
However, the body said the new figure reflects advances in technology and Japan’s ability to see detailed maps—not the overall change in land in Japan’s territory. As there is no international agreement on how to count islands, the agency explained that it used the same size criteria as a previous survey 35 years ago which included all natural islands with a perimeter of at least 100 meters (330 ft). The calculation of land areas to be formally included. ,
The new number does not include any artificially reclaimed land, the body informed. The islands surrounding Japan have been at the center of several territorial disputes. Japan claims the southern Kuril Islands held by Russia, which Tokyo calls the Northern Territory.
Japan also says it claims the uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, but that claim has been repeatedly challenged by China.
Japan and South Korea also dispute the sovereignty of a group of islands in the Sea of Japan known as Dokdo by Tokyo and Takeshima by Seoul.