New Island Rises Southern Japan ~ November 2013

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The Japan Coast Guard and Japan Meteorological Agency announced that a small island has risen in the far south of Tokyo after a volcanic eruption occurred under the sea sometime between Wednesday and Thursday. Scientists are not sure if the island will become permanent or if it will eventually be eroded away.


The advisories from the two government agencies say that the island is around 200 meters in diameter and is located off the coast of the uninhabited island of Nishinoshima which is part of the Ogasawara chain or Bonin Islands, just 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo. On Wednesday, the coast guard issued an advisory on Wednesday, saying heavy black smoke was coming out of the waters in the area. Then on Thursday, footage showed smoke, ash and rocks were exploding from the crater. The last time the volcanoes in the area erupted was in the mid-70s, and most of the activity was underwater, thousands of meters deep into the Izu-Ogasawara-Marianas Trench.


Hiroshi Ito, the coast guard’s resident volcanologist said that there was a strong possibility the new island will be eroded, but it can also stay there on a permanent basis. Chief Cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said that this has already happened before, but the islands eventually disappeared. He added, ‘‘If it becomes a full-fledged island, we would be happy to have more territory.’’ Japan, being an archipelago already has thousands of islands, which are often used to claim wide expanses of ocean that are rich in minerals and energy resources.


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