Tiny Japanese island goes missing off Hokkaido
Japan Times -- Nov 04
Missing: A tiny island off Hokkaido. Or so authorities fear, prompting plans for a survey to determine if the outcrop has been washed away, ever so slightly shrinking the country’s territorial waters.

The island, known as Esambe Hanakita Kojima was only officially surveyed and registered by the Japan Coast Guard in 1987, who couldn’t even say exactly how big it was.

Until recently, it rose 1.4-meter (4½ feet) above sea level, and was visible from the very northern tip of Hokkaido.

But now, it has disappeared.

“It is not impossible that tiny islands get weathered by the elements,” a coast guard official said.

The disappearance of the island “may affect Japan’s territorial waters a tiny bit,” she added, but only “if you conduct precision surveys.”

Japan pours resources into protecting its outer islands, particularly the remote Okinotori Island in the Pacific, which secures a significant portion of the nation’s exclusive economic zone.

News source: Japan Times
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