(CNN) Japan described its islands — and discovered that there were 7,000 more than previously thought.
Digital mapping by Japan’s Geospatial Information Agency (GSI) recently found that there are 14,125 islands in Japanese territory, more than double the number of 6,852 in official use from a 1987 report by the Japan Coast Guard.
However, the GSI this week stressed that the new figure reflects improvements in surveying technology and the details of the maps used for the calculation — which does not change the overall area of land held by Japan.
Although there is no international agreement on how to count the islands, it said it used the same size criteria as the previous survey 35 years ago.
All naturally occurring landmasses with a circumference of at least 100 meters (330 feet) should be counted.
The new number does not include any artificially reclaimed land.
The islands surrounding Japan are at the center of many territorial conflicts.
Japan claims control over Russia Southern Kuril IslandsTokyo calls the Northern Territories a dispute since Soviet troops seized them from Japan at the end of World War II.
Japan also claims it has a historical right Uninhabited Senkaku Islands In the East China Sea, it currently controls, but China has repeatedly challenged that claim.
Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea have been embroiled in a more than 70-year dispute over one group’s sovereignty. The islands are known as Dokdo by Seoul and Takeshima by Tokyo In the Sea of Japan, Korea calls the East Sea.
CNN’s Junko Ogura contributed reporting.
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