Japanese Territory

Northern Territories

Information about the Northern Territories

  Area of the Northern Territories   Island
  (km2) (%)   (km2)   (km2)   (persons)
Habomai Islands 95 (2)   93   Ogasawara Islands 104   5,281
Suisho Island       12         986
Akiyuri Island       2         88
Yuri Island       10         501
Shibotsu Island       58         2,249
Taraku Island       11         1,457
Todo Island, Kaigara Island       -         -
Shikotan Island 251 (5)   248   Oki Island 242   1,038
Kunashiri Island 1,490 (30)   1,489   Okinawa Island 1,207   7,364
Etorofu Island 3,168 (63)   3,167   Tottori Prefecture 3,507   3,608
Total 5,003     4,997   Fukuoka Prefecture 4,986   17,291

Note: The area and island areas are based on the 2020 Nationwide Prefectural and Municipalities Area Survey by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (decimals rounded to the nearest integer). Note that the island areas cover only the main islands and do not include islets or reefs under 1㎢. The population figures are from August 15, 1945 (survey by the Association of Residents of Chishima and Habomai Islands). Total figures may not equal the sum of components due to rounding.

Administrative Jurisdiction prior to the Second World War

Habomai Islands All were included in Habomai Village, Hanasaki County.
Shikotan Island Shikotan Island and the islands adjacent to it (Oshima Island, Kojima Island, Kamojima Island, etc.) form Sikotan County.
Kunashiri Island The entire Kunashiri island forms Kunashiri County.
Etorofu Island Etorofu Island consists of the three counties of Shibetoro, Shana, and Etorofu.
  All of these were under the jurisdiction of Nemuro Subprefecture of Hokkaido.

Major Industries prior to the Second World War

The waters around the Northern Territories are extremely rich in marine produce thanks to the mingling of the Oyashio Current (the Okhotsk Current) and the Kuroshio Current (Japan Current), and have been counted as one of the three great fishing waters around the world for many centuries. Therefore, Japanese fisheries flourished in these waters before the war. The major products were kelp, salmon, trout, cod, Alaska pollock, king crab and sea cucumbers.

In addition, before the Second World War, industries such as forestry (conifers), fishery hatching (salmon, trout), mining (sulfur, gold, silver) were developed in both Kunashiri and Etorofu Islands and livestock industry (horses) was also operated in Kunashiri Island.

Back to Japanese Territory