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Hokkaido is the northernmost of the four main islands of Japan and lies between Honshu Island to the SW, the neighbouring far-east Russian territories such as Sakhalin Island to the north, Primorye (Sikhote-Alin) to the west and the Kuril islands to the east. It has close geological relations with all these adjacent areas. The island also faces three ocean basins: the Pacficto the south, the Kuril Basin of the Sea of Okhotsk to the NE, and the Sea of Japan to the west. The latter two are back-arc basins opened in the Miocene, so that most of the basement rocks were generated before their opening and related to Jurassic-Palaeogene arc-trench systems involving subduction of oceanic plates in the Pacific.

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