Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
Pacific Islands, Trust Territory of the, trust territory of the UN administered by the United States (1946–81). There are about 2,180 islands in all (only 96 inhabited) scattered over about 3 million sq mi (7.77 million sq km) of the Pacific Ocean within the area known as Micronesia. The formerly German islands were mandated to Japan in 1922 and, after U.S. occupation in World War II, to the United States. Among constituent territories, the Marianas gained separate status as the Northern Marianas and became a U.S. commonwealth (1978); the Marshall Islands became self-governing (1979); the islands of Truk, Yap, Ponape, and Kosrae became the Federated States of Micronesia (1978); and Palau became self-governing as the Republic of Belau (1981).