Concept

Iturup

Summary
Iturup, also historically known by other names, is an island in the Kuril Archipelago separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. The town of Kurilsk, administrative center of Kurilsky District, is located roughly midway along its western shore. Iturup is the largest and northernmost of the southern Kurils, ownership of which is disputed by Japan and Russia. It is located between Kunashiri to its southwest and Urup to its northeast. The Vries Strait between Iturup and Urup forms the Miyabe Line dividing the predominant plants of the Kurils. The native inhabitants of the islands since at least the 14th century were the Ainu. Various European explorers passed the area over the years but settlement varied between Russian and Japanese. The island was formally claimed as Japanese territory in 1855. Near the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Soviet Union occupied the southern Kurils and forceably removed its Japanese residents. Japan continues to claim the islands
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