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    La Pérouse Strait (Laperouse Strait, Sōya Strait)  Russia

La Pérouse Strait (Laperouse Strait), also known as the Sōya Strait or Soya Strait, separates the southern part of Sakhalin Island (Karafuto) from the northern part of Hokkaidō, and connects the Sea of Japan on the west with the Sea of Okhotsk on the east. This narrow strait is frozen during the winter months.

Wartime History
During the Pacific War, the Japanese controlled the Laperouse Strait. American ships with lend-lease goods for the Soviet Union were delivered to to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, unloaded then returned to the United States. During the war, some Soviet ships were accidentally sunk by Japanese in this area, even though the two nations were not officially at war until late August 1945.

USS Wahoo SS-238
Sunk in La Perouse Strait on October 11, 1943. The submarine was discovered during July 2008.

L-19 Soviet Submarine
Sunk August 24, 1945 believed to be sunk in La Perouse Strait possibly by a sea mine

Japan's territorial waters extend only three nautical miles into La Pérouse Strait instead of the usual twelve, supposedly to allow nuclear armed United States Navy (USN) warships and submarines to transit the strait without violating Japan's prohibition against nuclear weapons in its territory.

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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