Tokyo’s Iwoto Island Expands about 6 Square Kms Since 2015

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Iwoto Island

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Iwoto, a remote Tokyo island in the Pacific Ocean, has grown about 1.3-fold in area and over 8 meters in height since 2015, according to a new map.

The new map, released by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan on Friday, shows that the island, part of the Ogasawara Islands, is 29.86 square kilometers, up some 6 square kilometers from the figure in the previous 2015 map.

The latest map, created based on aerial photographs taken on Jan. 26 last year and field survey results, also clarified that the Hyoryuboku shore in the northwestern area of the islet has expanded by roughly 800 meters toward the ocean and crustal movement points have risen by up to 8.3 meters in nine years.

Mt. Suribachi, known as a grueling battlefield in the last days of World War II, is now at least 172 meters above sea level, up from 170 meters.

Iwoto is an active volcanic island with a plateau in the north-central area and Mt. Suribachi on the southern tip.

The island currently hosts only an Air Self-Defense Force base and related facilities and is basically off-limits to civilians.

The meteorological agency has warned of small-scale eruptions there since 2007.