The Pacifc Islands are the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Three major groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean are Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. Depending on the context, Pacific Islands may refer to countries and islands with common Austronesian origins, islands once or currently colonized, or Oceania. The indigenous inhabitants of the Pacific Islands are referred to as Pacific Islanders. In English, the umbrella term Pacific Islands may take on several meanings. Sometimes it refers to only those islands covered by the continent of Oceania. In some common uses, the term "Pacific Islands" refers to the islands of the Pacific Ocean once colonized by the British, French, Dutch, United States, and Japanese, such as the Pitcairn Islands, Taiwan, and Borneo. In other uses it may refer to islands with Austronesian linguistic heritage like Taiwan, Indonesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Myanmar islands, which found their genesis in the Neolithic cultures of the island of Taiwan.Many islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador; the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, United States; Vancouver Island in Canada; the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands; the island nation of Taiwan and other islands of the Republic of China; the Philippines; islands in the South China Sea, which includes the disputed South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesia; and the island nation of Japan, which comprises the Japanese Archipelago. This list includes all islands found in the geographic Pacific Ocean, with an area larger than 10,000 square kilometers.
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