Japan recounted the variety of islands it had and realised it had missed out almost 7,000 of them when it first counted them in 1987.
After 35 years, the variety of listed Japanese islands is predicted to greater than double from 6,852 to 14,125, in keeping with a supply conversant in the matter.
The elevated quantity is because of improved accuracy in geospatial mapping with the federal government anticipated to launch the brand new determine as early as March.
Though this quantity might change because the Geospatial Info Authority of Japan, or GSI, is making closing changes, the supply stated.
The digitalization of maps is unlikely to vary the scale of Japanese territory or territorial waters, the supply informed Kyodo Information on Monday.
The brand new determine might have an effect on entries in academic and different supplies. Up till now, the federal government of Japan was utilizing the determine launched in 1987 by the Japan Coast Guard.
On the time, the coast guard listed islands with a circumference of 100 metres or larger by hand on a map of Japan. Islands in lakes or river sandbanks weren’t included within the complete.
Within the newest survey, the federal government counted islands utilizing a pc primarily based on GSI’s digital land map in 2022 and cross-referenced the map with previous aerial images and different information, whereas excluding artificially reclaimed land.
Whereas the pc detected over 100,000 islands, solely these with circumferences of 100 metres or larger have been chosen for the official record.
Islands within the survey are outlined in keeping with the United Nations Conference on the Regulation of the Sea, which states that an island is a ‘naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide’.
The full dimension of nationwide territory is calculated utilizing the identical digital map no matter listed islands, whereas the extent of territorial waters is not going to be affected as distant Japanese islands are topic to a separate survey.
Nagasaki and Kagoshima prefectures in southwestern Japan had 1,479 and 1,256 islands, respectively, whereas 1,473 have been listed in Hokkaido, northern Japan.
Strikes to reassess the variety of listed islands got here amid criticism that information was outdated and the true determine could possibly be vastly totally different.
In December 2021, a ruling Liberal Democratic Get together lawmaker informed a parliamentary session ‘an accurate understanding of the number of islands is an important administrative matter that is related to the national interest’.
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