Japan has announced it will spend more than $100 million rebuilding structures on a distant atoll whose total land mass is less than 100 sq. ft., reports the South China Morning Post.
The atoll, Okinotorishima, sits in the Philippine Sea about 1,000 miles south of Tokyo. Despite its diminutive size, Okinotorishima, which comprises a natural reef and several small man-made embankments, extends Japan’s economic zone far into the Pacific Ocean.
The country will now spend the equivalent of $107.5 million building a deepwater pier and a lighthouse at the atoll. A road will also be erected spanning the natural reef.
Japan’s announcement is the latest in a string of Asian maritime territorial claims that have heightened tensions in the region. China, which has aggravated its smaller neighbors by building a series of artificial structures in the South China Sea, has in the past criticized Japan’s assertions over Okinotorishima.