Marcus Island,coral atoll, c.740 acres (300 hectares), W Pacific Ocean, 700 mi (1,125 km) SE of Japan; part of Tokyo prefecture, Japan. Triangular in shape and rising to 204 ft (62 m), it was the site of a Japanese meteorological station prior to World War II. It was bombed by the U.S. navy during the war, after which it was administered by the United States; it was returned to Japan in 1968, but a U.S. coast guard station remained until 1993. There is no civilian population. The seabed surrounding the island contains mud that holds significant stores of rare earth minerals.
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