Inland Sea

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Inland Sea,

Jap. Seto-naikai, arm of the Pacific Ocean, c.3,670 sq mi (9,510 sq km), S Japan, between Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu islands. It is linked to the Sea of Japan by a narrow channel. The shallow sea is dotted with more than 950 islands, the largest of which is Awaji-shima. The shores of the Inland Sea are heavily populated and are part of Japan's most important industrial belt. Many industrial cities line the sea from the Osaka-Kobe complex on the east to the northern Kyushu industrial complex on the west. Many of Japan's greatest ports, including Osaka, Kobe, and Hiroshima are there. The Inland Sea is also famed for its scenic beauty and is the site of Inland Sea (Seto-naikai) National Park (255 sq mi/660 sq km; est. 1934) which includes some 600 islands and coastal segments.

Inland Sea


or Seto-Naikai, a system of marine basins; the seas and straits between the islands of Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Connected with the Pacific Ocean by the Kii and Bungo (Hoyo) straits and with the Sea of Japan by the Shimonoseki Straits. Length, 445 km; width, up to 55 km; the predominant depths range from 20 m to 60 m (maximum depth, 241 m). The average water temperature on the surface is about 16° C in February and about 27° C in August. Salinity ranges from 30 to 34 parts per thousand. The shores are deeply indented, and there are many islands. The Inland Sea is Japan’s most important inland waterway. Its principal ports are Kobe and Osaka, Moji and Shimonoseki, and Kure (a military naval base).

inland sea

[′in·lənd ′sē]

Inland Sea

a sea in SW Japan, between the islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu