One of the small islands of Japan , called Esanbe Hanakita Kojima and uninhabited, has disappeared, and experts say it was eroded by winds and ice that are formed annually in the Ohotsk Sea during the winter, according to globalnews.ca .
The island‘s disappearance has not been noticed by the inhabitants of Sarufutsu, a village only 500 meters away, on the larger island of Hokkaido.
Esanbe Hanakita Kojima is located in the Northern Territories, the subject of another famous dispute – the Kula islands – with Russia. The islands were confiscated by the Soviets a few days after the end of the Pacific War.
Local residents were alerted to the island‘s disappearance in September after writer Hiroshi Shimizu visited Sarufutsu to write a volume about Japan‘s “hidden islands“. He announced the association of fishermen in the area who had searched for the island without success.
Older fishermen say they saw the island many decades ago, but they avoided it because the navigation systems mistakenly showed that the area was part of a reef.
The coast guard indicated that the most recent island was monitored in 1987 and was then only 1.4 meters tall. Authorities have to study the area to find out what was the fate of the island, and if it disappeared completely, Japan‘s territorial waters will be reduced by half a kilometer.
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