Volcano raises new island off the coast of Japan
Remarkable pictures show the new islet, which is about 200 metres (660 feet) in diameter, appearing in the water
A volcanic eruption has formed a new island off the coast of Japan around 620 miles south of Tokyo.
Remarkable pictures show the new islet, which is about 200 metres (660 feet) in diameter, appearing in the water next to a small, uninhabited island chain known as Nishinoshima.
The 30-odd islands are 620 miles south of Tokyo and along with the rest of Japan are part of the seismically-active Pacific "Ring of Fire".
Television pictures showed the creation of the island amid heavy smoke, ash and rocks exploding from the crater, and steam billowing into the sky.
The area regularly experiences earthquakes and eruptions but rarely as powerful as this one. The forming of the new island is the first such phenomenon for around 30 years.
Japan's chief government spokesman welcomed the news of yet another bit, however tiny, of new territory.
"This has happened before and in some cases the islands disappeared," Yoshihide Suga said when asked if the government was planning on naming the new island. "If it becomes a full-fledged island, we would be happy to have more territory."
The Japanese archipelago has thousands of islands. In some cases, they help anchor claims to wide expanses of ocean overlying potentially lucrative energy and mineral resources.
Japan has plans to build port facilities and transplant fast-growing coral fragments onto Okinotorishima, two rocky outcroppings even further south of Tokyo, to boost its claim in a territorial dispute with China.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 2 Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: YouGov final prediction puts No campaign 8 points ahead - but Yes team remains optimistic
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...
£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...
£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Long term SIMS School Administr...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...