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A smoking cone emerged Wednesday from the Pacific during a volcanic eruption, forming a new islet about 1,000 km south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara chain, and the government hopes its arrival will be an avenue to extending Japan’s ocean territory.

The islet was formed as the result of an eruption about 500 meters southeast of uninhabited Nishinoshima in the Ogasawara Islands. The volcanic activity was first observed at around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday.

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