Sea of Japan

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Sea of Japan
Image:Location Sea of Japan.png
Image:Sea of Japan Map.png
Japanese name
Kanji 日本海
Hiragana にほんかい
Hepburn Romanization Nihonkai
Korean name (North Korea)
Hanja 朝鮮東海
Hangul 조선동해
Revised Romanization Joseon Donghae
McCune-Reischauer Chosŏn Tonghae
Translation English Korean East Sea
Korean name (South Korea)
Hanja 東海
Hangul 동해
Revised Romanization Donghae
McCune-Reischauer Tonghae
Translation English East Sea
Russian name
Russian Япо́нское мо́ре
Romanization Yaponskoye more

The Sea of Japan (East Sea) is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure.

Physical characteristics

The sea is bound by Russian mainland and Sakhalin island to the north, North Korea and South Korea to the west, and the Japanese islands of Hokkaido, Honshū, and Kyūshū to the east.

It is connected to other seas by five shallow straits: the Strait of Tartary between the Asian mainland and Sakhalin; La Perouse Strait between the islands of Sakhalin and Hokkaido; the Tsugaru Strait between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu; the Kanmon Straits between the islands of Honshu and Kyushu; and the Korea Strait between the Korean Peninsula and the island of Kyushu. The Korea Strait is composed of the Western Channel and the Tsushima Strait, on either side of Tsushima Island.

  • Deepest point: 3,742 metres below sea level
  • Mean depth: 1,752 metres
  • Surface area: about 978,000 km²

The sea has three major basins: the Yamato Basin in the southeast; the Japan Basin in the north; and the Tsushima Basin (Ulleung Basin) in the southwest. The Japan Basin has the deepest areas of the sea, while the Tsushima Basin has the shallowest.

On the eastern shores, the continental shelves of the sea are wide, but on the western shores, particularly along the Korean coast, they are narrow, averaging about 30 kilometres wide.

The Tsushima Warm Current, a branch of Kuroshio Current, flows northward through the Korea Strait along the Japanese shore, and the Liman Cold Current flows southward through the Strait of Tartary along the Russian shore.

It was once a landlocked sea when the land bridge of East Asia existed. [1].


The areas in the north and the southeast are rich fishing grounds. The importance of the fishery in the sea is well illustrated by the dispute between South Korea and Japan over Dokdo (Takeshima). The sea is also important for its mineral deposits, particularly magnetite sands. There are also believed to be natural gas and petroleum fields. With the growth of East Asian economies, the Sea of Japan has become an increasingly important commercial waterway.


Look up Sea of Japan in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Although Sea of Japan is the commonly used term to refer to the sea amongst the international community, both North Korea and South Korea have advocated for a different name to be used. South Korea has argued that it should be called the "East Sea"; North Korea, the "East Sea of Korea". However neither of these two names has achieved any formal international recognition.

ar:بحر اليابان

zh-min-nan:Ji̍t-pún-hái cs:Japonské moře da:Japanske Hav de:Japanisches Meer et:Jaapani meri es:Mar del Japón eo:Japana maro fa:دریای ژاپن fr:Mer du Japon gl:Mar do Xapón ko:동해 it:Mar del Giappone he:ים יפן la:Mare Iaponicum lt:Japonijos jūra hu:Japán-tenger nl:Japanse Zee ja:日本海 no:Japanhavet pl:Morze Japońskie pt:Mar do Japão ro:Marea Japoniei ru:Японское море sk:Japonské more sr:Јапанско море fi:Japaninmeri sv:Japanska havet vi:Biển Nhật Bản tr:Japon Denizi uk:Японське море zh:日本海 zh-classical:日本海

Sea of Japan

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