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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • An island chain of extreme eastern Russia extending about 1,207 km (750 mi) in the Pacific Ocean between Kamchatka Peninsula and northern Hokkaido, Japan. The volcanic, largely uninhabited islands were held by Japan from 1875 to 1945.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A group of islands between Japan and Kamchatka, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean.

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