THE KUROSHIO CURRENT is the second largest ocean current in the world, and flows in the western Pacific from the east coast of Taiwan island, northwards to Japan, and then beyond Hokkaido past the Kuril Islands, where it merges with the North Pacific Current. In many ways, it is similar to the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, which also carries warm tropical waters toward the polar region. The Japanese call it the Kuroshio Current, with some early English geographers translating this to the Black Stream, the name coming from the deep blue of the water; a few writers referring to it as the Japan Current. A branch of the Kuroshio Current, known as the Tsushima Current, passes through the Tsushima Straits between Japan and ...

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