Nanpō Islands

The Nanpō Islands (南方諸島, Nanpō Shotō) is a collective term for the groups of islands that are located to the south of the main islands of the Japanese archipelago. They extend from the Izu Peninsula west of Tokyo Bay southward for about 1,200 km (750 mi), to within 500 km (310 mi) of the Mariana Islands. The Nanpō Islands are all administered by Tokyo Metropolis.

Nanpō Islands

The Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department of the Japan Coast Guard defines the Nanpō Shotō as follows:[1]

The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, a government agency that is responsible for standardization of place names, does not use the term Nanpō Shotō, although it has agreed with the Japan Coast Guard over the names and extents of the subgroups of the Nanpō Shotō.[1]

The Japanese claim to have discovered the islands in 1593, while the British claimed the islands in 1827. No real effort was made to develop them, though a small colony of Europeans and Americans was established at Chichi-jima. Japanese colonists began moving to the islands in 1853 and Japan claimed the islands in 1861, annexing them in 1891 as part of Tokyo Prefecture. By the mid-1930s the islands were off-limits to foreigners and a small naval base was established at Chichi-jima.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Ajiro Tatsuhiko and Warita Ikuo, Waga kuni no kōiki na chimei oyobi sono han'i ni tsuite no chōsa kenkyū (The geographical names and those extents of the wide areas in Japan), Kaiyō Jōhōbu Gihō, Vol. 27, edition
  2. ^ "Nanpo Shoto". The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 9, 2019.

Coordinates: 28°00′00″N 141°00′00″E / 28.0000°N 141.0000°E / 28.0000; 141.0000