Japan recounted its islands. Now geographers say there may be 7,000 more of them

TOKYO, Feb 18 (npr.org) - The number of islands in Japan is expected to more than double after 7,000 new islands it didn't know existed were discovered.
The nation currently comprises 6,852 islands, but that figure dates back to a 1987 study conducted by the Japan Coast Guard. During a December 2021 parliamentary session, a lawmaker argued the data was old and the true figure could be vastly different. During the 1987 study, officials listed — by hand — islands with a circumference of at least 100 meters. They used basic technology that often misidentified groups of small islands as one island. They also left out thousands of islands, many of which were within lakes or rivers. They didn't include river sandbanks either, which the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea now recognizes as islands. Plus, volcanic activity has led to the creation of more islands since the study over 35 years ago. ...continue reading

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