Also found in: Dictionary.
Batan Islands(bätän`), island group, 76 sq mi (197 sq km), northernmost of the Philippine islands. They include the islands of Itbayat, Batan, Sabtang, and a number of islets, and comprise the province of Batanes. Basco is the provincial capital. The Batan Islands are separated from Taiwan by the Bashi Channel (50 mi/80 km wide). Coal is mined, and fishing is an important industry. In World War II, Batan Island was the site of the first Japanese landing in the Philippines (Dec. 8, 1941).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/