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Meet Nijima, Pacific's newest island - but sailors warning, stay away

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 29 Jan 2014
Nijima, a brand new island in the Pacific - photo from Japanese Coastguard .. .
Old salts always say 'don't just depend on the GPS or the AIS, look out the window!' and never is it truer at the moment than if you are sailing in Japanese waters south of Tokyo.

The new volcanic island in Japanese waters, which thrust its tiny smoking head above the waters just a couple of months ago is growing so large it could boost the size of Japan's exclusive economic zone. It could also prove a real hazard to sailors who are bent over their computers instead of doing periodic 360's in the cockpit.



It was Japan coast guard officials who claimed that the island, which is located approximately 620nm to the south of Tokyo, is getting so big it may expand the size of Japan’s exclusive economic waters.

The brand new little island is called Nijima, is close to another older island called Nishinoshima, and is growing steadily.



A volcano expert says lava should continue to flow for some time. It remains highly active with continually rising red magma causing the island to develop. It's possible, if the baby island continues to expand, that the eruptions could fill the shallow water between the two islands, turning them into one.

However, if you are near enough and would like to see it for yourself, please note that the Japanese coastguard is warning tourists (including roaming sailors) that the area is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.

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