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Useful Notes / Northern Mariana Islands

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The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Carolinian: Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas; Chamorro: Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas), is a series of islands in Micronesia and one of the two commonwealths of the United States, the other being Puerto Rico. It is one of the nearest US territories to Asia, the other being Guam. Of the islands, most of the population live on the Saipan (Which acts as the capital and largest city of the territory), Tinian and Rota islands, and those are the only permanently inhabited islands. The Northern Mariana Islands also have the lowest permanent population of any part of the US. Despite the name, the Northern Mariana Islands include all islands in the Mariana Archipelago except for Guam, which is a separate territory.

The majority of the population are Filipinos followed by the native Chamorros, and like the Philippines, the Northern Mariana Islands were formerly a colony of Spain, being claimed in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan. Cultural clashes occurred between the Chamorros and the Spanish, with 90–95% of the Chammoros either dying from Spanish diseases or marrying non-Chamorro settlers. New settlers were soon brought in from the Caroline Islands and the Philippines, and the Chamorro population gradually recovered.

After the Spanish-American War, Spain sold the territory to Germany under the German–Spanish Treaty of 1899, and it was administered as part of German New Guinea. The Japanese soon declared war on Germany during World War I and invaded the islands. In 1919, all of Germany's islands in the Pacific north of the Equator (including the Northern Marianas) were awarded to Japan by the League of Nations. Sugar cane became the main industry of the islands.

One of the major battles between the US and Japan in World War II, the Battle of Saipan, took place here on June 15th, 1944. The United States military invaded the Mariana Islands, which had 30,000 Japanese troops defending them. By the end of the battle, fewer than 1,000 of those Japanese troops remained. The last group of Japanese holdouts also remained here after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, finally surrendering on Saipan in December 1st, 1945. Since 1947, the islands have been administered by the United States, with them holding responsibility for the defense and foreign affairs of the territory.

Saipan also has a notorious place in Irish sporting culture. In 2002, the Republic of Ireland national football (soccer) team went to Saipan to train for that year's World Cup in South Korea and Japan. During said camp, star midfielder Roy Keane had a bitter falling-out with manager Mick McCarthy and, depending on the source, left or was sent home, and didn't play in the World Cup. Public reaction back in Ireland was so divisive that one major Irish newspaper likened it to a (verbal) civil war.

Northern Mariana Islands in media

  • Rising Storm has a map set on Saipan. In contrast to most other maps in the game which involve Jungle Warfare, this map is set in the town of Garapan, where heavy Urban Warfare takes place between US Marines and Japanese Army soldiers.
  • Windtalkers: The Battle of Saipan plays an important role in the film.
  • Jaws: Quint talks to Hopper and Brody about his time in the U.S. Navy aboard the ill-fated USS Indianapolis after delivering the atomic bomb to Tinian Islandnote .
  • Dragon Strike (1997)
  • 1983: Doomsday: The Northern Mariana Islands were vastly depopulated after fallout from Guam started blowing over. It then became part of Micronesia, an associated state of the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand.
  • Polandball: Northern Mariana Islandsball

The Northern Mariana Islander flag
This flag consists of three symbols: a star representing the United States, a latte stone representing the Chamorros, and a mwarmwar (decorative wreath) representing the Carolinians; the blue background represents the ocean and the Mariana Trench.

  • Capital and largest city: Saipan
  • Population: 55,070
  • Area: 464 km
(179 sq mi)
  • Currency: United States dollar ($) (USD)
  • ISO-3166-1 Code: MP
  • Country calling code: 1 (area code 670)