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OAN Deven Berryhill
UPDATED 2:30 PM PT – Thursday, March 2, 2023
After recent digital mapping by Japan’s Coast Guard, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) recently found 7,000 more islands in its territory.
The original count, last taken in 1987, had the island total at 6,852. The new count has put the total at 14,125 islands surrounding Japan. The GSI made it clear that the higher island count was mostly due to technological advances in their ability to count the islands. The new counting system used the same 100-meter island size criterion that was used 35 years ago.
The 14,125 count included many islands surrounding Japan that have also been claimed by neighboring countries. Japan has claimed the disputed Russian-held southern Kuril Islands, the uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and a group of islets known as Dokdo near South Korea.
According to Kyodo News Japan, the island recount project came after a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker told the Japanese parliament in 2021 that “an accurate understanding of the number of islands is an important administrative matter that is related to the national interest.”