InstaLinks : help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions ina your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 2:
- India-UK Relationship
GS Paper 3:
- India is becoming a young country but with an ageing workforce
- ISRO and Chandrayaan-3 mission
GS Paper 4:
- Can AI be Ethical and Moral?
Content for Mains Enrichment
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
- Indian Ocean Dipole turns positive
- The Fujiwhara effect
- Bacteria that ‘eat’ methane
- Pfizer’s RSV vaccine
- Ultra-processed food
- Dholpur-Karauli tiger reserve in Rajasthan
- 1st hydrogen bus in Leh
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Bilateral Relationship
Context:The article discusses the U.K.-India relationship and the opportunities it presents across various aspects.
Various aspects of the India-UK relationship:
|Political Relationship||India’s political system influenced by UK. – Shared democratic values. – Collaboration on global issues. – Support for UN Security Council seat and NSG membership. – Joint declaration for annual Summits and meetings.|
|Bilateral Institutions||Regular Foreign Office Consultations. – Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Dialogue. – Counter Terrorism Joint Working Group. – UN Dialogue, Policy Planning Dialogue, Cyber Dialogue, etc. – Institutionalized economic mechanisms.|
|Defence Collaboration||Strategic partnership since 2004. – Joint military exercises. – Cooperation in cyber security and maritime security. – “Make in India” campaign involvement. – Carrier Strike Group deployment in Indian Ocean.|
|Nuclear Cooperation||Civil Nuclear Cooperation Declaration (2010). – Nuclear Collaboration Agreement (2015). – Collaboration on energy and climate change.|
|Terrorism and Extremism||Cooperation against terrorism and extremism. – Push for UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.|
|Economic Relations||The Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) was established in 2005. – India-UK Free Trade Agreement talks. – Bilateral trade and investment growth.|
|Trade and Investment||Bilateral trade worth £36 billion in 2022. India is the U.K.’s second-largest source of investment projects, and the U.K. has invested $34 billion in India as foreign direct investment. Rupee-denominated bonds.
The U.K. is launching the ‘Alive with Opportunity’ marketing campaign to celebrate and strengthen the bond between the two countries and attract Indian investments in the UK
|Education and Research||Science and Technology Agreement (1996). – Science & Innovation Council. – India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI)|
|Climate and Environment||Cooperation on climate-related issues. – Green Growth Equity Fund for renewable energy and environment.|
|Health Collaboration||Health sector collaboration, pandemic preparedness, research, Ayurveda, and Yoga.|
|Cultural Engagement||Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation (2010). – Nehru Centre for Cultural Outreach. – The concept of a ‘living bridge’ is emphasized, highlighting the dynamic exchange between the two countries.|
|People-to-People Contact||Indian diaspora’s influence in the UK. – Indian student community in the UK. – Shared interests in cricket, cuisine, yoga, and festivals.|
|UK’s Significance for India||Support for UNSC seat, NSG membership, and development objectives. – Economic and technological partnership. – Defense and security cooperation.|
|India’s Significance for UK||Role in “Global Britain” ambitions. – Seizing opportunities in the Indo-Pacific. – Economic ties, investments, and rejuvenation of the Commonwealth.|
The current major bilateral issues between India and the UK include:
- Extradition of Indian Economic Offenders: The issue pertains to the extradition of Indian economic offenders who have sought refuge in Britain and are utilizing the legal system to their advantage.
- g., Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi
- Umbilical Link with Pakistani Deep State: This link sometimes leads to British involvement in matters related to Jammu and Kashmir, utilizing Pakistan’s support.
- Issues with differing expectations on FTA talks
- Taxation: Britain has raised the matter of existing tax disputes of Vodafone Group Pic. and Cairn India Ltd with the Indian government.
- Non-Acceptance of India’s Rise: Some segments of white Britain, including the media, might not fully acknowledge India’s emergence as a global power.
With a historic foundation of culture, history, and language, there is a unique opportunity to further deepen the India-UK relationship, leveraging their strengths for mutual prosperity.
The judicial systems in India and the UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices. ( UPSC 2020)
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Indian Economy, Unemployment
Meaning of ‘India’s Workforce is Aging’:
An ageing workforce basically means that if one looks at all the employed people in India, the share of young people is going down while the share of those closer to 60 years of age is going up.
|Workforce Aging Trend||India’s workforce has rapidly aged over the past seven years|
|Youth Proportion Decline||The share of youth (ages 15 to 29) in the workforce has decreased from 25% (2016) to 17% (2022)|
|Older Age Group Proportion Increase||The share of those aged 45 and above has grown from 37% to 49%.|
|Overall||The overall count of employed individuals has decreased from about 41 crore to about 40 crore.|
|Employment Rate Decline||The Employment Rate (ER) for youth dropped from 29% to 19%, indicating a decline in job opportunities for this age group.|
|Educational Attainment Impact:||Youth unemployment tends to rise with higher educational attainment, contributing to the overall trend.|
|Contradiction with Demographic Advantage||India’s ageing workforce contradicts the perception of having a youthful population.|
|Reason for this trend:|
|Reasons||This phenomenon is partially attributed to rising youth unemployment and a low labor force participation rate, particularly among women. India’s female labor force participation rate (32.8%) is notably low globally.|
|Skills Deficit||The ageing workforce suggests a skills deficit, highlighting the need to enhance youth employability for a more productive workforce.|
Implications of these data:
Youth Population Growth ≠ Job Increase
India’s expanding youth population does not automatically translate into more job opportunities for them. Despite the demographic advantage, youth struggle to secure employment and face tough competition from older counterparts.
Youth Unemployment Peaks
Unemployment is most pronounced among the youth, even considering the potential influence of higher education pursuits. This trend warrants attention from policymakers. Even non-CMIE surveys indicate that youth unemployment remains a prominent concern in India.
|Recommendations for Policymaker Considerations|
|Demography ≠ Determinism||India’s demographic advantage requires aligned policies and programs for tangible benefits; demographics alone aren’t sufficient.|
|Skill Development & Socio-Economic Support||To avert the negative impact of unskilled youth, prioritize the provision of education, skills, training, and necessary facilities.|
|Leverage Employability & Well-being||Unlock demographic dividend by improving the workforce’s employability, health, and education; policies should span land, labour, governance, and vocational training.|
Addressing youth employability is vital alongside the broader goal of creating more job opportunities.
Definition of Youth: CMIE’s data defines youth as individuals aged above 15 and below 25. However, for the purpose of comparison, the workforce is divided into three groups: 15 to 30 years, 30 to 45 years, and 45 years and older.
Data on Female Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR):
As per the latest available Annual PLFS Reports, the estimated Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) on usual status for women of age 15 years and above in the country was 30%, 32.5% and 32.8% during 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively, which shows an increasing trend.
How globalization has led to the reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization detrimental to the development of the country? (UPSC 2016)
Prelims Links: (UPSC 2020)
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Science and Technology: Space Science
Context: The Chandrayaan-3 mission’s successful soft landing on the Moon marks India’s significant achievement, becoming the fourth nation in history to reach the lunar surface.
Historical overview of ISRO’s major programs – satellites, launch vehicles, and planetary exploration.
|Aryabhata (1975)||Marked India’s entry into space era; conducted experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics.|
|Bhaskar-1 & Bhaskar-2||Experimental remote-sensing satellites laying the groundwork for Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellite system.|
|IRS-1A (1988)||Launched Earth Observation spacecraft aiding land-based applications like agriculture, forestry, etc.|
|INSAT Series||Initiated communication revolution, providing nationwide connectivity, broadcasting, meteorological info, etc.|
|IRNSS (NavIC) (2013)||Started for terrestrial, aerial, marine navigation, location-based services, etc.|
|Launch Vehicle Programs|
|1963 Nike Apache||Initial rocket launch; ‘sounding rocket’ experiment.|
|SLV-3 (1980)||India’s first launch vehicle; entry into space-faring nations.|
|PSLV||Reliable and versatile workhorse; enabled critical space missions.|
|GSLV||Addressed PSLV’s limitations; introduced cryogenic engines.|
|GSLV Mk-III||Heaviest launch vehicle; used for Chandrayaan-2 and Chandrayaan-3 missions.|
|Chandrayaan-1 (2008)||Detected water on the Moon; the fifth country to reach the lunar surface.|
|Mangalyaan (2013)||First interplanetary mission; reached Mars orbit, showcasing interplanetary technology.|
|Chandrayaan-2 (2019)||Aimed for lunar exploration but faced a setback with the lander’s soft landing.|
|Chandrayaan-3 (2023)||Achieved a successful soft landing on the Moon, contributing to India’s lunar capabilities.|
Challenges of landing on the Moon’s South Pole:
Challenges are primarily due to the difficult terrain, extreme temperatures, and areas of permanent shadow. Unlike previous spacecraft that landed near the lunar equator, the South Pole presents greater difficulties with its rugged landscape, extreme cold, and regions that never receive sunlight.
However, despite these challenges, ISRO is interested in exploring the Moon’s South Pole for several important reasons:
- Water Resources: The South Pole region is believed to contain significant amounts of water molecules, potentially trapped as ice in shadowed craters.
- Confirming the presence of water is crucial for planning future human missions and utilizing lunar resources.
- Scientific Discoveries: The harsh environment and the existence of permanently shadowed areas offer a unique window into the Moon’s history and the early Solar System.
- Studying this region can provide valuable insights into the origins and evolution of celestial bodies.
- Clues to Earth’s History: The Moon is thought to have formed from the debris of a massive impact between a Mars-sized object and early Earth.
- Exploring the lunar South Pole can shed light on the materials and conditions that existed during this critical event.
- Global Collaborations: Successful collaborations between ISRO and NASA have previously confirmed the presence of water on the Moon.
- Partnerships like the Indo-Japan LUPEX mission aim to explore the South Pole further, with plans to send a lander and rover by 2024.
- Technological Advancements: Undertaking missions to the lunar South Pole allows ISRO to develop and showcase innovative technologies. This includes advancements in soft landing techniques, navigation systems, resource utilization, and long-duration operations that can have broad applications in future space missions.
Instruments and Experiments on Chandrayaan 3:
- Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA): This experiment studies the electrons and ions near the moon’s surface, investigating their behaviour and changes over time.
- Chandra’s Surface Thermo Physical Experiment (ChaSTE): ChaSTE focuses on the thermal properties of the lunar surface near the polar region, contributing to our understanding of temperature variations.
- Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA): ILSA measures lunar quakes near the landing site, analyzing the composition of the Moon’s crust and mantle through seismic activity.
- LASER Retroreflector Array (LRA): This passive experiment, provided by NASA, acts as a target for lasers, enabling precise measurements for future missions.
- LASER-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS): LIBS determines the chemical and mineral composition of the lunar surface, offering insights into its geological makeup.
- Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS): APXS identifies elements like magnesium, aluminium, silicon, and more in the lunar soil and rocks, contributing to our understanding of lunar materials.
Study objectives of the mission:
|Discovery of Water||The southern polar region of the Moon, characterized by deep craters in permanent darkness, is believed to contain water ice. Previously, Chandrayaan-1 instruments discovered water and hydroxyl (OH) molecules in the Moon’s thin atmosphere and on the lunar surface.|
|Buried Lava Tubes||Chandrayaan-1’s terrain mapping camera and hyperspectral imager found evidence of underground lava tubes. These structures offer a potentially safe habitat for humans in the future, shielding against radiation, meteoric impacts, extreme temperatures, and dust storms on the lunar surface.|
|Magma Ocean Thesis||The Moon’s formation from an impact that led to surface melting, called the magma ocean hypothesis, was studied by Chandrayaan-1’s M3 payload. This will be further studied by this mission.|
|Dynamic Moon||Contrary to the belief of lunar dormancy, Chandrayaan-1 revealed the Moon’s dynamic nature interacting with the exosphere. Terrain mapping camera identified volcanic vents, lava ponds, and channels as recent as 100 million years old, indicating recent volcanic activity.|
|Solar Flares||Chandrayaan-2’s Solar X-Ray Monitor observed solar microflares beyond the active region, analyzing elemental abundance from the solar corona.|
|Mapping of Minerals||CLASS X-ray Fluorescence experiment mapped approximately 95% of the lunar surface using X-rays, a significant improvement compared to past missions. The new mission will further explore abundant oxygen in mineral oxides on the Moon, potentially exploitable as fuel for future space missions.|
In the future of ISRO, several potentials and challenges emerge:
- Global Market Share: ISRO aims to secure a significant 9% share of the global space market by 2030, indicating its ambition for international prominence.
- Economic Growth: Forecasts suggest that India’s space economy could expand to an impressive $100 billion by 2040, exceeding the initially projected $40 billion figure
- International Collaborations: The success of endeavours like Chandrayaan-3 opens doors for enhanced international cooperation and partnerships with various countries.
- Budget Constraints: Recent trends underscore financial limitations, with budget allocations declining. In the fiscal year 2023-2024, ISRO received ₹12,544 crore, an 8% decrease from the preceding year.
- Manpower Issues: ISRO’s workforce has remained largely static for years, and there’s a concerning decline in students pursuing advanced space studies, potentially leading to a shortage of skilled personnel.
- Global Ranking: Despite impressive accomplishments, India’s global space ranking is relatively modest, being among the top 15 nations with satellites in orbit and commanding just 2% of the overall global space economy.
About Luna 25: Russia’s Lunar Mission:
Luna 25 was a Russian lunar mission launched by Roscosmos on August 11, 2023. The mission aimed to soft-land a lander near the moon’s south pole to study moondust, moon soil, and the atmosphere. However, the mission encountered a glitch and crashed on the moon’s surface on August 20, ending in failure.
Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3) (previously known as GSLV-MK III) is a three-stage launch vehicle consisting of two solid propellants S200 strap-ons on its sides and a core stage comprising L110 liquid stage and C25 cryogenic stage. The vehicle is also dubbed as one of the heaviest for its ability to carry satellites up to 8,000 kg.
What is India’s plan to have its own space station and how will it benefit our space programme? (UPSC 2019)
GS Paper 4
Syllabus: Applications of Ethics
Context: As AI plays a growing role in decision-making, concerns arise about its ethical implications in governance.
Ethics is a broader and more systematic study of principles that guide behavior in a given context, while morality is the individual’s internalized sense of right and wrong shaped by personal and cultural factors.
The integration of AI into decision-making raises questions about whether AI can exhibit ethical behaviour and morality.
|Aspect||AI’s Potential for Ethical and Moral Behavior|
|Understanding Ethics and Morality||For e.g., AI systems can be trained to identify hate speech and offensive content to maintain a respectful online environment.|
|Bias Mitigation||AI can be programmed to mitigate biases and avoid unfair discrimination.|
|Decision-Making||AI can make ethical decisions based on predefined rules and data. (but lacks true moral understanding)|
|Learning from Data||AI learns from data, which might include biased or unethical information, leading to unintended consequences.|
|Ethics in AI: Kantian Perspective||Applying Kantian ethics to AI decision-making within governance raises concerns. Delegating decisions to algorithms could undermine human moral reasoning and responsibility. Isaac Asimov’s ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ also highlights the challenges in translating ethics into AI rules.|
|Programming Ethics into AI: A Complex Task||Programming ethical AI is more challenging than programming AI for tasks like chess due to the intricate nature of ethical considerations.|
|Autonomy and Intent||AI lacks consciousness and intent, making its actions neither inherently moral nor immoral. E.g., A robot that assists the elderly with daily tasks completes them efficiently but without genuine care or compassion.|
|Accountability and Liability||As AI assumes decision-making roles, accountability questions arise. If AI-based decisions turn out to be unethical, who bears responsibility? Punishing AI is problematic as it lacks emotions. Deciding who is accountable—AI developer, AI user, or AI itself—poses a significant challenge|
|Unintended Consequences||E.g., Social media algorithms, while aiming to show relevant content, might inadvertently create echo chambers and reinforce biases.|
|Continuous Learning||AI’s ability to learn and adapt can lead to ethical shifts over time, requiring ongoing evaluation.|
|Human Oversight||The ethical behaviour of AI often requires human oversight and intervention. E.g., Content moderation platforms use AI to flag potentially inappropriate content, but human moderators make final decisions.|
Ethics integration into AI is intricate, and its implications must be approached with care. While AI can contribute to decision-making, ensuring its ethical behaviour requires addressing complex challenges and considering liability scenarios.
For Generative AI: What are the potential applications and ethical concerns? Click Here
Content for Mains Enrichment
What is Eco-anxiety?
Eco-anxiety refers to a chronic fear or worry about environmental issues and the potential negative impacts of climate change.
It is characterized by a sense of distress and anxiety related to the state of the planet’s environment, including concerns about the future well-being of ecosystems, wildlife, and human populations due to factors like pollution, climate change, and natural disasters. This emotional response can lead to feelings of helplessness, sadness, and fear about the Earth’s future.
Usage: The term can be used in ethics/Essay/Environment/ Society Questions to show the behavioural implications of Climate change.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Source: Business Line
Context: A report by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that the IOD index has risen beyond the positive threshold.
- The IOD refers to temperature shifts in the Indian Ocean basin, impacting monsoons in India. A positive IOD event, characterized by warmer temperatures in the western basin, can enhance India’s South-West monsoon.
- However, the IOD index must remain above the threshold for a sustained period to officially declare a positive event.
- The positive IOD event tends to benefit the Southwest monsoon.
For Australia, a positive IOD event often leads to low rainfall between October and December, delayed monsoon onset, and reduced tropical cyclone activity.
IOD stands for the Indian Ocean Dipole. It refers to a climate phenomenon characterized by the difference in sea surface temperatures between the western and eastern parts of the Indian Ocean.
There are two phases of the Indian Ocean Dipole:
Positive IOD: In this phase, the western Indian Ocean becomes warmer than the eastern part. This leads to increased convection and rainfall in the western Indian Ocean region, including parts of East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, while causing drier conditions in the eastern Indian Ocean, including Australia and Indonesia.
Negative IOD: In this phase, the eastern Indian Ocean becomes warmer than the western part. This leads to higher rainfall and cooler conditions in the eastern Indian Ocean region, including Australia and Indonesia, while causing drier conditions in the western Indian Ocean region.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: The western coast of the United States recently experienced Hurricane Hilary, which transformed into a sub-tropical storm upon reaching the US.
- This event led to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) issuing its inaugural tropical storm watch for certain areas of Southern California.
- California had an exceptionally wet winter with multiple ‘atmospheric river’ storms, and the area also witnessed the intriguing phenomenon of the ‘Fujiwhara effect’ during one of these storms, where two low-pressure areas interacted in an unexpected manner.
About The Fujiwhara effect:
- The “Fujiwhara effect,” where two cyclones (or hurricanes) spinning in the same direction interact in a dance-like manner around a common centre. If one cyclone is stronger, it can absorb the weaker one.
- When of similar strength, they might merge or rotate around each other. In some rare instances, the two cyclones could merge into a mega-cyclone with significant destructive potential.
- The Fujiwhara effect was first described by Japanese meteorologist Sakuhei Fujiwhara in 1921.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Source: The Guardian
Context: A study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington suggests that utilizing bacteria known as methanotrophs, which consume methane, could potentially slow down the rate of global heating.
- Methane is a potent greenhouse gas emitted from various sources including energy production, industry, agriculture, and waste management.
- The researchers have identified a specific strain of bacteria, methylotuvimicrobium buryatense 5GB1C, that efficiently removes methane, even when present in lower concentrations.
- Unlike many other proposed methane reduction strategies, this method doesn’t produce nitrous oxide emissions, which have a significant global warming potential.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval to Pfizer’s vaccine, Abrysvo, aimed at safeguarding new-borns from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by vaccinating pregnant individuals during the latter stages of pregnancy.
- Abrysvo has been authorized for use in adults aged 60 and above to protect them from RSV. The vaccine generates passive immunity by producing antibodies against RSV in pregnant individuals, which are then passed on to their foetuses in the uterus.
Abrysvo’s approval is based on its demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the risk of severe lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV in new-borns. However, concerns have been raised about potential preterm births in response to the vaccine, similar to issues seen with another competitor vaccine.
About Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection:
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is a common respiratory illness that primarily affects infants, young children, and older adults. RSV belongs to the family of viruses called Paramyxoviridae and is a leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia, especially in children under the age of two.
The virus spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and it can also be transmitted through direct contact with contaminated surfaces.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: A report jointly released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) highlights a significant and concerning increase in the sales of ultra-processed foods in India over the past decade.
- The study shows that sales of items like chocolate and sugar confectioneries dropped from 10% in 2019 to 1% in 2020 due to the pandemic, but then quickly recovered to 9% in 2021. Similarly, retail sales of salty snacks and beverages reduced from 14% each in 2019 to 9% and 1% in 2021, respectively.
- The report suggests that by 2032, despite a decline in market share, ultra-processed foods such as chocolate, sugar confectioneries, salty snacks, and ready-made food will continue to dominate the market.
About Ultra-processed foods:
Ultra-processed foods are a category of food products that have undergone multiple stages of processing, often involving the addition of various artificial ingredients, such as preservatives, colours, flavours, and additives.
These foods typically contain minimal whole or natural ingredients and are characterized by their convenience, long shelf life, and often addictive taste profiles.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Source: Economic Times
Context: India has established its 54th tiger reserve in the Karauli and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan, following approval from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
- This new reserve marks Rajasthan’s fifth, joining the existing reserves of Ranthambore, Sariska, Mukundra Hills, and Ramgarh Vishdhari.
- The Dholpur-Karauli Tiger Reserve’s approval is seen as a significant step forward for wildlife conservation in the state.
Stats on Tiger Population:
- Over recent years, India has seen an increase in tiger population, rising from 2,967 in 2018 to 3,682 in 2022, signifying an annual growth rate of 6%.
- Notably, Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers (785), followed by Karnataka (563), Uttarakhand (560), and Maharashtra (444).
Rajasthan has also experienced growth in its tiger population, which has risen from 32 in 2006 to 88 in 2022.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
This initiative aims to achieve carbon-neutral status for Ladakh. NTPC plans to establish a hydrogen fuelling station, and a solar plant, and deploy five fuel cell buses for intracity routes in Leh.
Notably, these buses are designed to operate in sub-zero temperatures and high-altitude conditions.
NTPC Limited (founded 1975; HQ: New Delhi; Maharatna Company) is a major Indian Central Public Sector Undertaking owned by the Ministry of Power and the Indian Government.
Japan is set to release treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, a move that has been met with opposition from neighbouring countries.
The water, which has accumulated since the 2011 tsunami that damaged the plant, will be released over 30 years after being filtered and diluted. The water contains tritium and carbon-14, both of which emit low levels of radiation and may impact marine biodiversity.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, the Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south.
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