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Kuril Islands

Why is it in the news?

  • A magnitude 6.3 earthquake recently struck Japan’s Kuril Islands.

About Kuril Islands

  • Set of four islands located between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, near the north of Japan’s northernmost prefecture, Hokkaido.
  • Volcanic archipelago part of Sakhalin Oblast in the Russian Far East.
  • Consists of 56 islands and numerous minor rocks.
  • Form part of the Ring of Fire, a zone of tectonic instability encircling the Pacific Ocean.
  • Frequent seismic activity, including earthquakes, due to the tectonic nature of the region.
  • Strategic and economic importance due to fisheries and mineral deposits; Rich in resources such as pyrite, sulphur, and various polymetallic ores.
  • Both Russia and Japan claim sovereignty over the Kuril Islands; Under Russian control since the end of World War II, a source of historical tension between the two countries.

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