Hashima lies around 4.5km west of the Nagasaki peninsula, 2.5km southwest of the Mitsubishi Mining Company's main coalmine on the island of Takashima, and 19km southwest of Nagasaki harbor. It is a tiny island with a seabed coalmine. It measures 480m north to south and 160m east to west, with a circumference of 1,200m and an area of 63,000m². The island is surrounded by a sea wall, and has multi-storey reinforced concrete apartments, giving it the appearance of the warship Tosa. For this reason it has become known as "Gunkanjima" (Battleship Island).
After the mine was closed, the island was deserted and fell silent for many years. On January 5 2009, however, Hashima was included as part of a tentative list of modern industrial heritage sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi that are being considered for World Heritage status. Thus, the island begins a new chapter in its history.
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