The collective name for islands of the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines, including the Mariana, PALAU, Caroline, Marshall, and Kiribati Islands. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p761 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p350)
A republic consisting of a group of about 100 islands and islets in the western Pacific Ocean. Its capital is Koror. Under Spain it was administered as a part of the Caroline Islands but was sold to Germany in 1899. Seized by Japan in 1914, it was taken by the Allies in World War II in 1944. In 1947 it became part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, became internally self-governing in 1980, obtained independent control over its foreign policy (except defense) in 1986, and achieved total independence October 1, 1994. (Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p915; telephone communication with Randy Flynn, Board on Geographic Names, 17 January 1995)