The Volcano Islands (Kazan Rettō in Japanese) are a chain of three tiny, volcanic islands belonging to Japan, located in the Pacific Ocean about 1,300 km south of Tokyo. Despite the great distance, they are considered part of Tokyo Prefecture for administrative purposes. The three Volcano islands are Kita Iwo Jima ("North Sulphur Island"), Iwo Jima ("Sulphur Island"), and Minami Iwo Jima ("South Sulphur Island"). Iwo Jima is famous as the site of the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.
Today the islands are uninhabited except for a Japanese airbase on Iwo Jima, with a staff of about 400 people. Historically the islands were uninhabited prior to being annexed by Japan in 1881. Settlers began to arrive in 1889, and by the start of World War II, the islands had a population of about 1,500 people. However, the civilian population was evacuated leading up to the American invasion, and never returned.