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.