Japanese archipelago

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Japanese archipelago
Satellite View of Japan 1999.jpg
A satellite image of the main archipelago (Sakhalin and Ryukyu Islands not pictured)
Geography
Coordinates37°30′52″N 137°42′44″E / 37.514444°N 137.712222°E / 37.514444; 137.712222Coordinates: 37°30′52″N 137°42′44″E / 37.514444°N 137.712222°E / 37.514444; 137.712222
Administration

The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, Nihon rettō) is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan. It extends over 3,000 km (1,900 mi)[1] from the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest to the East China and Philippine Seas in the southwest along the Pacific Ocean coast of the Eurasian continent, and consists of three island arcs from north to south: the Northeastern and Southwestern Japan Arcs, and the Ryukyu Island Arc. The Kuril Island Arc, the Daitō Islands, and the Nanpō Islands are not parts of the archipelago.

Japan is the largest island country in East Asia and the fourth-largest island country in the world with 377,975.24 km2 (145,937.06 sq mi).[2][3] It has an exclusive economic zone of 4,470,000 km2 (1,730,000 sq mi).[4]

Terminology[edit]

The term “mainland Japan” is used to distinguish the large islands of the Japanese archipelago from the remote, smaller islands; it refers to the main islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku and Okinawa.[5] From 1943 until the end of the Pacific War, Karafuto Prefecture was designated part of the mainland.

The term “home islands” was used at the end of World War II to define the area where Japanese sovereignty and constitutional rule of its emperor would be restricted.[citation needed] The term is also commonly used today to distinguish the archipelago from Japan's colonies and other territories.[6]

Palaeogeography[edit]

Geography[edit]

The archipelago consists of 6,852 islands[7] (here defined as land more than 100 m in circumference), of which 430 are inhabited.[8] The six main islands, from north to south, are Sakhalin (a part of the Russian Federation), Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa.[5] Honshu is the largest and referred to as the Japanese mainland.[9]

The topography is divided as:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Water Supply in Japan". Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Archived from the original (website) on January 26, 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Island Countries Of The World". WorldAtlas.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
  3. ^ "令和元年全国都道府県市区町村別面積調(10月1日時点), Reiwa 1st year National area of each prefecture municipality (as of October 1)" (in Japanese). Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. 26 December 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  4. ^ "日本の領海等概念図". 海上保安庁海洋情報部. Archived from the original on August 12, 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b 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. ^ Milton W. Meyer, Japan: A Concise History, 4th ed. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012, ISBN 9780742541184, p. 2.
  7. ^ "離島とは(島の基礎知識)". Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Archived from the original (website) on November 13, 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Islands in Abundance". Look Japan. Vol. 43 no. 493–504. Limited. p. 35.
  9. ^ "Japanese Archipelago", TheFreeDictionary.com, retrieved 24 June 2013.