7,000 New Islands Found In Japan

Just recently, Japan conducted its first surveying of their aquatic land since 1987 and received news of 7,000 new islands discovered that the country was unaware about. 

It is the Geospatial Authority of Japan that confirmed these new findings as it is estimated that Japan has 14,125 islands within the Japanese territory. This would be doubling its original number of islands of 6,852. 

New technological advancements regarding the ability to see clear detail of the mapping of Japan contributed to these new discoveries.  However, the GSI has emphasized that it did not change the amount of land Japan held. 

This is not the first time that Japan has suddenly discovered islands that they were unknown to. In August 2021, the Japan Times reported that after a volcanic eruption near Iwo Jima a C-shaped or crescent-shaped island form was revealed. 

Japan is one of the many countries that are susceptible to extreme weather and natural disasters that are constantly changing the lay of the land. It is because of this that new land is constantly being discovered in Japanese territory. 

In the Smithsonian Magazine, it stated that Ensabe Hanakita Kojima,a small island, had its land almost four-and-a-half feet above sea level due to Japan’s extreme weather conditions. It was subjected to heavy wind and ice that chipped and eroded the land. 

Many have wondered how Japan has not noticed these islands sooner, however the last mapping and surveying in Japan took place in 1987. It was decided at that time that they would not consider land under 100 in circumference as an island. It was also due to the lack of technology the Japanese had at the time that did not provide accurate information as it does today. This new surveying of the land will also help Japan with a better understanding of its terrain. 

The technology at the time struggled with differentiating small groups of land and bigger lands which contributed to the lack of accuracy of the recorded number of islands. 

In recent reports of the U.N. Convention on the law of the sea, the islands were described as “naturally formed areas of land, surrounded by water, which is now above water at high tide.” 

The UN has decided to use the definition utilized by the Law of the Sea to determine whether or not something can be determined as an island. 

The Law Of Sea’s definition states that an island is a “naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide.” 

There are also other parts of land that weren’t considered lands, namely, sandbanks. It is because of the UN’s decision to follow this new definition that they are now considered lands. 

Many have wondered whether or not that they will be able to see the newly found islands for themselves but that still remains undetermined.

While news of these islands has excited the people of Japan, it has also begun to stir unrest with other Asian countries. China and Japan  have been stuck with territorial disputes regarding Japan’s historical claim on the small islands, namely Dokdo and Takeshima. Dokdo is in Korea while Takeshima is located in Tokyo.