7,000 Islands Were Just Discovered, Here’s Where They Are

Japan has discovered there are 7,000 new islands than what was counted in previous mappings. 

By Ryan Clancy | Published

New islands

In a time where social media and the internet dominate our world, you would not think that any part of the world remained undiscovered. Well, it seems like Japan did not carefully monitor their vast number of islands. Recently, they have undergone a new digital mapping process, and a great surprise has occurred; there are 7,000 new islands than what was counted in previous mappings. 

When completing a digital map of the Asian country, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) found that there is over double the amount instead of the official figure of 6,852 islands. They discovered over 14,000 islands within Japanese territory. Over 7,000 new land masses have been counted by the Japanese coast guard, as the last time an official map and count took place was in 1987. 

GSI, the company completing the new map, stated that while it is shocking that there are so many new islands but these new additions did not expand Japan’s overall area. The revelation occurred due to how detailed and advanced surveying technology has become. 

There is no international standard on how to count newly discovered land masses, so many countries use different ways and parameters. In order to keep the mapping consistent, GSI used the same parameters conducted in previous surveys. Maybe from this new discovery, an international standard should be implemented to ensure all islands are adequately counted and can be distinctly seen by high-technology mapping. 

During the mapping process, all land with a natural width of at least 100 meters was counted as an island. This new map contains only naturally occurring new islands or land. No artificial land was measured or added to the updated map. 

Throughout history, the islands off the coast of mainland Japan have been the sources of numerous disputes and wars, with Japan going head-to-head with some of the greatest world superpowers. 

One of the more recent claims was over the southern Kuril island, in which Japan went to war with Russia. Japan claimed these land masses as Northern Territories even though Russia had control over them at the time. It would result in a war that lasted until the end of World War two, when Russia finally regained control. 

The Kuril island is not the only set of islands Japan believed they had a historical claim to; they also claim to have a history with the Senkaku islands. These islands are located in the South China Sea. While at the moment, they have control over this territory, it is a piece of land that has caused disputes between the two countries time and time again. 

Along with China and Russia, Japan has also been at loggerheads with South Korea over a group of islands called Dokdo and Takeshima. These land masses are located in the Sea of Japan, but the South Koreans call it the East Sea. This dispute has lasted over seventy years and doesn’t look like it will be resolved anytime soon. 

Down through history, Japan has taken their ownership of the island incredibly seriously, so seriously that they are willing to go to war for them. To learn that they have over 7,000 new islands must be a delightful prospect.