Japan’s postal authority withdrew a sheet of stamps after complaints that a map in its border showed only some of the islands over which the country claims sovereignty.
The original Scenes of Hokkaido sheet, in the Hometowns: Scenes In My Heart series, showed only one of the Kuril Islands. But Japan claims four of the chain of 56 islands, in an unresolved territorial dispute with Russia.
Issued on June 1, the sheet was withdrawn on June 10 and reissued on September 10, without the map, apparently following a complaint by a member of the public.
But Ken Clark of the British Society for Japanese Philately believes the reprint might have been politically motivated, in an attempt to avoid a diplomatic row with Russia, which has jurisdiction over the illustrated island.
It is thought that 220,000 sheets were printed with the map, and 1,580,000 without it. The original sheets are selling at up to £50, despite a face value of about £6.50