Japan discovers 7,200 new islands in its territorial waters

Japan discovers 7,200 new islands in its territorial waters

A fresh survey of Japan’s territory has yielded 7,000 new islands. As per Kyodo News, after the Japanese government’s first official survey of its territorial waters since 1987, the official number of Japan’s islands is expected to double from 6,852 to 14,125, with the addition of 7,272 new islands.

The new survey which was conducted by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan will not increase the nation’s territory. Rather, it would, as per the NY Post, give officials a more accurate picture of Japan’s territory.

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Why did Japan conduct this survey after more than 30 years?

This, as per Kyodo News, was apparently spurred by a member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. In December 2021, the party member told the nation’s Parliament that there was a need for an accurate understanding of the number of islands because the data was old and not updated. According to them, it was an “important administrative matter that is related to the national interest.”

As per Lifestyle Asia, the survey actually detected over 100,000 islands. However, only those with a circumference of 100 metres or higher were taken into account.

Now, the Japanese government will soon come up with more accurate figures of the country’s terrain. The latest number of islands will also have to be updated on all official documents and textbooks, etc. As per the current estimates, Japan, a country with an estimated population of around 124,840,000, has a land mass of around 146,000 square miles.

In Japan, a country regularly subjected to volcanic activity and extreme weather, the discovery of new islands isn’t that surprising; previously, geographers have reported the formation of new islands and the disappearance of others.

(With inputs from agencies)

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