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Palau is comprised of roughly 250 islands that encompass the western portion of the Caroline Islands surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Also known as "Belau" or "Pelew". Palau is divided into sixteen municipalities. After independence in 1984 were renamed States of Palau (Palau States). On January 1, 1981 became independent as the Republic of Palau and signed a compact of free association with the United States of America. The first national capital was Koror (Koror Town) until 2006 when the capital moved to Ngerulmud.
Prior to World War I, Palau was a German colony with Koror as the capital to administer both the Caroline Islands and Marshall Islands. After World War I, the League of Nations mandated Palau to Japan administered by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). During March 1922 Palau became been the headquarters of the Japanese South Seas Colonial Administration with a civilian administration. Contraryrary to the League of Nations mandate, the Japanese military used the islands as a Naval anchorage and developed the islands into military bases with airfields, seaplane bases and supporting facilities with defenses.
During 1944, in support of U. S. Army General MacArthur's island hopping campaign to liberate the Philippines a campaign to neutralize Palau with aerial attacks was begun culminating with a U. S. Marine Corps amphibious landing on September 15, 1944. Contrary to what American planners believed, both Peleliu and Angaur were heavily fortified and the battle was costly. Afterwards, Palau was developed with airfields and base areas to support the American offensive against Japan and was used until the official surrender of Japan in Septembe 1945.
On July 18, 1947 became part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands established under United Nations (U. N.) Security Council Resolution 21 managed by the United States of America.
During 1978, Palau opted for independent status and adopted a constitution on April 2, 1979. On January 1, 1981 became independent as the Republic of Palau and signed a compact of free association with the United States of America that took effect on October 1, 1994. The first national capital was Koror (Koror Town) until 2006 when the capital moved to Ngerulmud.
States of Palau (Palau States)
Kayangel State (Ngcheangel) includes Kayangel Island, furthese north state in Palau.
Ngarchelong State located at the northern tip of Babelthuap Island.
Ngaraard State located at the north of Babelthuap Island.
Ngardmau State located at the north of Babelthuap Island.
Ngiwal State located at the northeast of Babelthuap Island.
Melekeok State located on the eastern center of Babelthuap Island includes the national capital of Ngerulmud.
Ngatpang State Located at the western center of Babelthuap Island.
Ngchesar State located on the eastern center of Babelthuap Island.
Ngeremlengui State located on the western center of Babelthuap Island.
Aimeliik State located on the southwest of Babelthuap Island.
Airai State southern portion of Babelthuap Island.
Koror State located at the center of Palau includes Koror Island with Koror Town largest city and former capital.
Peleliu State includes Peleliu Island and surrounding island at center of Palau.
Angaur State includes Angaur Island at the southwest of Palau.
Sonsorol State located in the southwest of Palau.
Hatohobei State includes Hatohobei Island located in the southwest of Palau.
Kossol Passage (Kossol Roads) located to the north of Babelthuap used by USN as a resupply and repair area.
Babelthuap Island (Babeldaob) located in the northern end of Palau, largest island in Micronesia.
Rock Islands (Chelbacheb) located in the southern lagoon between Koror and Peleliu.
Koror Island (Oreor) located to the south Babelthuap Island (Babeldaob).
Palau Harbor (Palau Anchorage) borders Koror to the west and Babelthuap to the nort.
Arakabesan Island (Ngerekebesang) located to the west of Koror and Malakal.
Malakal Island (Ngemelachel) located to the south of Koror and Arakabesan.
Urukthapel Island located in central Palau to the north is Arakabesan, Malakal and Koror.
Ngeregong Island (Ngerechong) located six miles north-northeast of Peleliu.
Ngesebus Island located to the north of Peleliu Island with Ngesebus Airfield (Ingesebus).
Kongauru Island located to the east of Negesbus Island and north of Peleliu Island.
Peleliu Island (Beliliou) located at the southern end of Palau, American landing during September 1944.
Island X (Un-named Island) small island off Peleliu Island.
Snake Island small island near Peleliu Island.
Angaur Island (Ngeaur) located at the southern end of Palau Islands.
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