Japanese islands outlined

Japan is an island country of 14,125 islands, of which approximately 260 are inhabited.[1][2] Japan is the fourth-largest island country in the world, behind Indonesia, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.[3] Japan is also the second-most-populous island country in the world, only behind Indonesia.

According to a survey conducted by the Japan Coast Guard in 1987, the number of islands in Japan was 6,852. At that time, the survey only counted islands with coastlines of 100 meters or more that were shown on paper maps. On February 28, 2023, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan announced that the number of islands had been updated to 14,125 through a recount using digital maps. Since there is no international standard for counting islands, only islands with a coastline of 100 meters or more were counted, as in the past. According to the GSI, advances in surveying technology and the detailed representation of topographic features through digital mapping contributed to this announcement.[4][1]

Japanese archipelago

Main article: Japanese archipelago

Main islands

The four main islands of Japan run from Hokkaido in the northeast, along the largest island, Honshu, to Kyushu, in the southwest. Shikoku is the smallest and is tucked between Honshu to the north and Kyushu to the west.
The main islands of Japan

The four main islands of Japan are:[5][6]

Hokkaido prefecture

Islands of Honshu in the Sea of Japan

Islands in Tokyo Bay

Islands in Osaka Bay

Islands in Ise Bay

Islands in Mutsu Bay

Nanpō Islands (Nanpō Shotō)

Izu Islands
Ogasawara Islands

Other Japanese islands

Islands around Kyushu

Most of these are located in the East China Sea.

Islands around Shikoku

Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shotō)

Ryukyu Islands

Satsunan Islands

The northern half is administratively part of Kagoshima Prefecture and Kyushu.

Ōsumi Islands

The North-Eastern Group:

The North-Western Group:

Tokara Islands

The Shichi-tō:

Amami Islands

Ryukyu Islands (Ryūkyū-shotō)

The Southern Half, Okinawa Prefecture

Okinawa Islands

The Central Group or Ryukyu proper:

Sakishima Islands

Also known as the Further Isles:

Seto Inland Sea islands

Seto Inland Sea

Islands in lakes

Other artificial islands

Claims but does not control

Kuril islands and the Northern Territories

The Northern Territories

There are four disputed Kuril Islands that are controlled by Russia and claimed by Japan. These islands are called the Chishima Islands.[18]

Others

Former

Largest islands of Japan

Main article: List of islands of Japan by area

These are the 50 largest islands of Japan. It excludes the disputed Kuril islands known as the northern territories.

Rank Island name Area
(km2)
Area
(sq mi)
Island group
1 Honshu 227,960 88,020
2 Hokkaido 83,424.31 32,210.31
3 Kyushu 36,782 14,202
4 Shikoku 18,800 7,300
5 Okinawa Island 1,207 466 Ryukyu Islands
6 Sado Island 855.26 330.22
7 Amami Ōshima 712.35 275.04 Amami Islands
8 Tsushima Island 708.7 273.6
9 Awaji Island 592.17 228.64 Seto Inland Sea islands
10 Shimoshima Island, Amakusa 574.01 221.63
11 Yakushima 504.88 194.94 Ōsumi Islands
12 Tanegashima 444.99 171.81 Ōsumi Islands
13 Fukue Island 326.43 126.04 Gotō Islands
14 Iriomote Island 289.27 111.69
15 Tokunoshima 247.8 95.7 Amami Islands
16 Dōgojima 241.58 93.27 Oki Islands
17 Kamishima Island, Amakusa 225.32 87.00 Amakusa islands
18 Ishigaki Island 222.5 85.9
19 Rishiri Island 183 71
20 Nakadōri Island 168.34 65.00 Gotō Islands
21 Hirado Island 163.42 63.10
22 Miyako-jima 158.87 61.34
23 Shōdoshima 153.30 59.19
24 Okushiri Island 142.97 55.20
25 Iki Island 138.46 53.46
26 Suō-Ōshima 128.31 49.54
27 Okinoerabujima 93.63 36.15 Amami Islands
28 Etajima 91.32 35.26
29 Izu Ōshima 91.06 35.16 Izu Islands
30 Nagashima Island, Kagoshima 90.62 34.99
31 Rebun Island 80 31
32 Kakeromajima 77.39 29.88 Amami Islands
33 Kurahashi-jima 69.46 26.82
34 Shimokoshiki-jima 66.12 25.53
35 Ōmishima Island, Ehime 66.12 25.53
36 Hachijō-jima 62.52 24.14
37 Kume Island 59.11 22.82 Okinawa Islands
38 Kikaijima 56.93 21.98 Amami Islands
39 Nishinoshima 55.98 21.61
40 Miyake-jima 55.44 21.41
41 Notojima 46.78 18.06
42 Kamikoshiki-jima 45.08 17.41
43 Ōshima (Ehime) 41.87 16.17
44 Ōsakikamijima 38.27 14.78
45 Kuchinoerabu-jima 38.04 14.69
46 Hisaka 37.23 14.37
47 Innoshima 35.03 13.53
48 Nakanoshima (in Kagoshima) 34.47 13.31 Tokara Islands
49 Hario Island 33.16 12.80
50 Nakanoshima (in Shimane) 32.21 12.44 Oki Islands

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Kojo, Hirotaka (February 15, 2023). "Japan has more than 14,000 islands, digital mapping reveals". The Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on February 21, 2023.
  2. ^ McCurry, Justin (February 16, 2023). "Japan sees its number of islands double after recount". The Guardian. Archived from the original on March 1, 2023.
  3. ^ "Island Countries Of The World". WorldAtlas.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
  4. ^ "我が国の島を一定の条件のもと数えました。その結果、14,125島となりましたので、お知らせいたします。". Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. February 28, 2023. Archived from the original on March 2, 2023.
  5. ^ "離島とは(島の基礎知識) (what is a remote island?)". MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 22 August 2015. Archived from the original (website) on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 9 August 2019. MILT classification 6,852 islands(main islands: 5 islands, remote islands: 6,847 islands)
  6. ^ Imperial Japanese Commission to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. (1903). Japan in the Beginning of the 20th century (Haruki Yamawaki, editor), p. 2.
  7. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Rishiri-tō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 791.
  8. ^ a b c d Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1962). Sovereign and Subject, p. 332.
  9. ^ a b c d e Ponsonby-Fane, p. 331.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Nussbaum, "Izu Shotō" at p. 412.
  11. ^ Gotoh, H. et al. (2010). "Infrastructure Maintenance and Disaster Prevention Measures on Isolated Islands: the Case of the Izu Islands near Tokyo" in Island Sustainability (Favro, S., editor), p. 187.
  12. ^ Nussbaum, p. 412; Ponsonby-Fane, p. 332.
  13. ^ Nussbaum, "Ōshima" at p. 761.
  14. ^ Nussbaum, "Torishima" at p. 987.
  15. ^ a b c d Nussbaum, "Ogasawara Guntō" at p. 737.
  16. ^ Nussbaum, "Hashima" at p. 294.
  17. ^ "Io-Torishima". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  18. ^ Imperial Japanese Commission, p. 3.