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Philippine Sea

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Philippine Sea, basin of the western Pacific Ocean between the Philippine Islands to the south and Japan to the north. The Philippine Sea covers a surface area of approximately 5,000,000 sq km (2,000,000 sq mi), about 3 percent of the entire Pacific region. Its eastern boundaries are formed by a series of deep ocean trenches which delineate it from the rest of the Pacific. They are from north to south the Izu-Ogasawara, Mariana, Yap, and Palau trenches. They form part of a vast subduction zone, where tectonic plates are being drawn down into the interior of the earth. The Mariana Trench is the world’s deepest at 11,033 m (36,198 ft). To the southwest is the Philippine Trench, and to the west are the Ryukyu Islands, Ryūkyū Trench, and the East China Sea. The entire area is an earthquake zone. Two great sea battles of World War II (1939-1945) were fought in the Philippine Sea, in which the United States Navy defeated the Japanese Navy. The first, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, in June 1944, was fought mainly by carrier-based aircraft of both fleets. In the second, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 282 ships took part in October 1944.

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