Marshall

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Marshall Islands

Aolepān Aorōkin M̧ajeļ
Republic of the Marshall Islands
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Flag - Coat of arms
Motto:"Jepilpilin ke ejukaan" ("Accomplishment through Joint Effort"
Anthem:Forever Marshall Islands
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Capital - Majuro (Delap)
7°7′N 171°4′E  /  7.117°N 171.067°E  / 7.117;171.067
Largest city - Majuro
Official language(s) - Marshallese, English
Demonym - Marshallese
Government - DemocraticPresidentialRepublic
President - Jurelang Zedkaia
Independence
from the United States - October 21, 1986
Area
Total - 181 km (213th)
69.8 sq mi
Water (%) - negligible
Population
2009 estimate - 62,000 - (205th
2003 census - 56,429
Density - 342.5/km (28th)
885.7/sq mi
GDP (PPP) - 2001 estimate
Total - $115 million (220th
Per capita - $2,900 (2005 est.) (195th
HDI (n/a) - n/a (unranked ) (n/a
Currency - United States dollar (USD
Time zone - (UTC+12
Internet TLD - .mh
Calling code - 692
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) en-us-Marshall Islands.ogg/ˈmɑrʃəl ˈaɪləndz/
1 - History
1.1 - Original settlers
1.2 - Arrivals of the Europeans
1.3 - World War I
  • 1.4 - World War II
  • 1.5 - Nuclear tests after World War II
  • 1.6 - Independence
  • 2 - Government
  • 2.1 - Foreign affairs and defense
  • 3 - Geography
    3.1 - Territorial claim on Wake Island
    4 - Climate
    4.1 - Climate-related emergencies
    5 - Economy
    5.1 - General economic conditions
    5.2 - Labor
    5.3 - Taxation
    5.4 - Foreign assistance
    5.5 - Agriculture
    5.6 - Industry
    5.7 - Tourism
    5.8 - Fishing
    5.9 - Energy
    6 - Demographics
    6.1 - Religion
    7 - Education
    8 - Transport
    9 - Health
    10 - Culture
    11 - Gallery
    12 - See also
    13 - References
    14 - Further reading
    15 -
    History
    History of the Marshall Islands
    Original settlers
    The Marshall Islands were settled by Micronesians in the 2nd millennium BC. Little is known of this early history. People traveled by canoe between islands using traditional stick charts.
    Arrivals of the Europeans
    Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar was the first European to see the islands in 1526, but they remained virtually unvisited by Europeans until the arrival of British Captain John Charles Marshall in 1788. The islands were named after him in the British maps. However, they were claimed under the Spanish sovereignty as part of the Spanish Oceania. In 1874 the Spanish sovereignty was recognized by the international community. They were sold to Germany in 1884 through papal mediation.

    A German trading company settled on the islands in 1885. They became part of the protectorate of German New Guinea some years later.

    World War I
    Under German Imperial control, and even before then, the Marshall Islands were from time to time visited by Japanese traders and fishermen, but contact with the islanders was not on a regular basis. After the Meiji Restoration the Japanese government undertook a policy of turning Japan into a great economic and military power in East Asia.

    In 1914, Japan joined the Entente powers during World War I, and found it possible to capture German colonies in China and Micronesia. On September 29, 1914, Japanese troops occupied the atoll of Enewetak, and on September 30, 1914 the atoll of Jaluit the administrative center of the Marshall Islands. - After the war, on June 28, 1919, Germany renounced all of its Pacific possessions, including the Marshall Islands. On December 17, 1920, the Council of the League of Nations approved the mandate for Japan to take over all former German colonies in the Pacific Ocean, located north of the equator. - The Administrative Center of the Marshall Islands atoll remained Jaluit.

    Unlike the German Empire, which had primarily economic interests in Micronesia, the accession of the territory, with a small area and few resources, to Japan would to some extent alleviate Japan's problem of increasing population but an ever increasing scarcity of land to house this exploding population. - During the years of colonial rule in the Marshall Islands Japan moved more than 1,000 Japanese to the Marshall Islands. Unlike in the Mariana Islands and Palau, their share in the archipelago never exceeded the number of indigenous people.

    Under Japanese rule a greatly enlarged administration was introduced and local leaders were appointed by the Japanese, which weakened the authority of local traditional leaders. Japan also tried to change the social organization in the islands from Matrilineality to the Japanese Patriarchal system, but with no success. - In addition during the 30s one third of all land up to the high water level was declared the property of the Japanese government. On the archipelago, before it banned foreign traders, the activities of Catholic and Protestantmissionaries were allowed. -

    Indigenous people were educated in Japanese schools, studying Japanese language and Japanese culture. This policy was the government strategy not only in the Marshall Islands, but on all the other mandated territories in Micronesia. In March 27, 1933, Japan left the League of Nations, but despite that, it continued to manage the islands in the region and in the late 1930s, even started the construction of air bases on some atolls, which also further served local residents. The Marshall Islands were an important geographical position, being the easternmost point in Japan's defensive ring at the beginning of World War II. - 5 -

    World War II
    In the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Kwajalein Atoll was the administrative center of the Japanese 6th Fleet Forces Service, whose task was the defense of the Marshall Islands. 6 -

    In World War II, the United States, during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, invaded and occupied the islands (1944) destroying or isolating the Japanese garrisons. The archipelago was added to the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, along with several other island groups in the South Sea.

    The battle in the Marshall Islands caused irreparable damage, especially on Japanese bases. During the American bombing, the islands' population suffered from lack of food and various injuries. By August 1945, half of the Japanese garrison of 5100 people in the atoll Mili died from hunger because of the U.S. attacks which started from mid-1943. 7 - In 1944, Americans captured Kwajalein Atoll, Majuro and Enewetak in just one month, and in the next two months the rest of the Marshall Islands except Wotje, Mili, Maloelap and Jaluit.

    Nuclear tests after World War II
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    Mushroom cloud from the largest nuclear test the United States ever conducted, Castle Bravo.
    From 1946 to 1958, as the site of the Pacific Proving Grounds, the U.S. tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, 8 - including the largest nuclear test the U.S. ever conducted, Castle Bravo. 9 - In 1956, the Atomic Energy Commission regarded the Marshall Islands as "by far the most contaminated place in the world". 10 -

    Nuclear claims between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands are ongoing, and health effects from these nuclear tests linger. 9 - Project 4.1 was a medical study conducted by the United States of those residents of the Bikini Atoll exposed to radioactive fallout.

    With the test of the first U.S. hydrogen bomb, Ivy Mike, the island of Elugelab in the Enewetak atoll was destroyed.

    Independence
    In 1979, the Government of the Marshall Islands was officially established and the country became self-governing.

    In 1986, the Compact of Free Association with the United States entered into force, granting the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) its sovereignty. The Compact provided for aid and U.S. defense of the islands in exchange for continued U.S. military use of the missile testing range at Kwajalein Atoll. The independence procedure was formally completed under international law in 1990, when the UN officially ended the Trusteeship status.

    Government
    Politics of the Marshall Islands
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    The Marshall Islands Capitol building.
    The government of the Marshall Islands operates under a mixed parliamentary-presidential system as set forth in its Constitution. 11 - Elections are held every four years in universal suffrage (for all citizens above 18 years of age), with each of the twenty-four constituencies (see below) electing one or more representatives (senators) to the lower house of RMI’s bicameral legislature, the Nitijela . (Majuro, the capital atoll, elects five senators.) The President, who is head of state as well as head of government, is elected by the 33 senators of the Nitijela.

    Legislative power lies with the Nitijela. The upper house of Parliament, called the Council of Iroij , is an advisory body comprising twelve tribal chiefs. The executive branch consists of the President and the Presidential Cabinet, which consists of ten ministers appointed by the President with the approval of the Nitijela. The twenty-four electoral districts into which the country is divided correspond to the inhabited islands and atolls. There are currently three political parties in the Marshall Islands:Aelon Kein Ad (AKA), United People's Party (UPP), and United Democratic Party (UDP). Rule is shared by the UDP and the UPP. The following senators are in the legislative body:

    Ailinglaplap Atoll - Christopher J. Loeak (AKA), Ruben R. Zackhras (UDP
    Ailuk Atoll - Maynard Alfred (UDP
    Arno Atoll - Nidel Lorak (UPP), Gerald M. Zackios (UDP
    Aur Atoll - Norman Matthew (UPP
    Ebon Atoll - John M. Silk (UDP
    Enewetak Atoll - Jack Ading (UPP
    Jabat Island- Kessai H. Note (UDP
    Jaluit Atoll - Rien R. Morris (UDP), Speaker Alvin T. Jacklick (UDP
    Kili Island - Tomaki Juda (UDP
    Kwajalein Atoll - Michael Kabua (AKA), Tony A. deBrum (AKA), Jeban Riklon (AKA
    Lae Atoll - Rellong D. Lemari (AKA
    Lib Island - Jerakoj Jerry Bejang (AKA
    Likiep Atoll - Donald F. Capelle (UDP
    Majuro Atoll - Wilfred I. Kendall (UDP), David Kramer (IND), Brenson S. Wase (UDP), Vice Speaker Alik J. Alik (UDP), 'H.E. President Jurelang Zedkaia' (UDP
    Maloelap Atoll - Michael Konelios (UDP
    Mejit Island - Dennis Momotaro (UPP
    Mili Atoll - Kejjo Bien (UPP
    Namdrik Atoll - Mattlan Zackhras (UDP
    Namu Atoll - Kaiboke Kabua (AKA
    Rongelap Atoll - Kenneth Kedi (IND
    Ujae Atoll - Frederick H. Muller (UPP
    Utrik Atoll - Amenta Matthew (IND
    Wotho Atoll - David Kabua (AKA
    Wotje Atoll - Litokwa Tomeing (UPP

    Foreign affairs and defense

    The Compact of Free Association with the United States give the U.S. sole responsibility for the international defense of the Marshall Islands. It allows islanders to live and work in the United States, and establishes economic and technical aid programs.

    Geography
    Main articles:Geography of the Marshall Islands and Administrative divisions of the Marshall Islands
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    Map of the Marshall Islands
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    Beach scenery of the Marshall Islands.
    The country consists of 29 atolls and 5 isolated islands. The atolls and islands form two groups:the Ratak Chain and the Ralik Chain (meaning "sunrise" and "sunset" chains). 24 of them are inhabited (see above section). The uninhabited atolls are:
    Ailinginae Atoll
    Bikar (Bikaar) Atoll
    Bikini Atoll
    Bokak Atoll
    Erikub Atoll
    Jemo Island
    Nadikdik Atoll
    Rongerik Atoll
    Toke Atoll
    Ujelang Atoll
    A majority of the islands' land mass is at sea level.
    Territorial claim on Wake Island
    The Marshall Islands also lays claim to Wake Island. While Wake has long been administered by the United States, the Marshallese government refers to it by the name Enen-kio .
    Climate
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    Average monthly temperatures (red) and precipitation (blue) on Majuro.
    The climate is hot and humid, with a wet season from May to November. The islands occasionally suffer from typhoons. Many Pacific typhoons start in the Marshall Islands region and grow stronger as they move west toward the Mariana Islands and the Philippines.
    Climate-related emergencies
    On March 21, 2007, the government of the Marshall Islands declared a state of emergency due to a prolonged drought. ] In December 2008 the Islands were pounded several times in quick succession by long period swell waves generated by an extra tropical storm. These extreme waves combined with high tides, causing widespread flooding in the capital city of Majuro and other urban centres, located at just one meter above sea level. On Christmas morning, the government declared a state of emergency. 12 -
    Economy
    Economy of the Marshall Islands
    General economic conditions
    Over the past decade, GDP growth averaged 1% due to government downsizing, drought, a drop in construction, the decline in tourism and foreign investment due to Asian financial difficulties, and less income from the renewal of fishing-vessel licenses. The 2007 edition of "Doing Business," prepared by the World Bank's private sector development department, declared the Marshall Islands to be the world's "Best Performer" for its ease and low expense in hiring and firing employees. But the study gave the Marshall Islands extremely low ratings for its protection of investors and contract enforcement.
    Labor
    In 2007, the Marshall Islands joined the International Labor Organization, which means its labor laws will comply with international benchmarks. This will impact business conditions in the islands. 13 -
    Taxation
    The income tax has two brackets with rates (8% and 14%). The corporate tax is 11.5%. The general sales tax is 6%. There are no property taxes.
    Foreign assistance
    United States government assistance is the mainstay of the economy.

    Under the terms of the Amended Compact of Free Association, the U.S. will provide US$57.7 million per year to the Marshall Islands (RMI) through 2013, and then US$62.7 million through 2023, at which time a trust fund made up of U.S. and RMI contributions will begin perpetual annual payouts. 14 -

    The United States Army maintains its Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll. Marshallese land owners receive rent for the base, and a large number quantify ] of Marshallese work there. The main airport was built by the Japanese during World War II, and the only tarmac road of the capital was built partly by the Taiwanese and partly by the Americans.

    Agriculture
    Agricultural production is concentrated on small farms. The most-important commercial crops are coconuts, tomatoes, melons, and breadfruit.
    Industry
    Small-scale industry is limited to handicrafts, fish processing, and copra.
    Tourism
    The tourist industry, now a source of foreign exchange employs less than 10% of the labor force. The islands have few natural resources, and imports far exceed exports.

    In 2005, Aloha Airlines canceled its flight services to the Marshall Islands as part of its withdrawal from several markets in the region. Other international airlines still serve Majuro.

    Fishing
    Fishing has been critical to the economy of this island nation since its settlement.

    In 1999, a private company built a tuna loining plant with more than 400 employees, mostly women. But the plant closed in 2005, after a failed attempt to convert it to produce tuna steaks, a process that requires half as many employees. Operating costs exceeded revenue, and the plant's owners tried to partner with the government to prevent closure. But government officials personally interested in an economic stake in the plant refused to help. After the plant closed, it was taken over by the government, which had been the guarantor of a $2 million loan to the business.

    Energy
    On September 15, 2007, Witon Barry (of the Tobolar Copra processing plant in the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro) said power authorities, private companies, and entrepreneurs had been experimenting with coconut oil as alternative to diesel fuel for vehicles, power generators, and ships. Coconut trees abound in the Pacific's tropicalislands. Copra, the meat of the coconut, yields coconut oil (1 liter for every 6 to 10 coconuts). 15 -

    On July 3, 2008, the government of the Marshall Islands declared a state of emergency related to energy shortages due to a lack of financial reserves and unusually high energy costs. ]

    Demographics
    Demographics of the Marshall Islands
    The Marshallese are of Micronesian origin and migrated from Asia several thousand years ago. A minority of Marshallese have some recent Asian ancestry, mainly Japanese. Two-thirds of the nation's population lives on Majuro, the capital, and Ebeye. The outer islands are sparsely populated due to lack of employment opportunities and economic development. Life on the outer atolls is generally still fairly traditional.

    The official language of the Marshall Islands is English. 16 - The traditional language is Marshallese.

    Religion
    Religion in the Marshall Islands
    Virtually all Marshallese are Christian. Most of them are Protestant.
    Education
    The Marshall Islands Ministry of Education operates the state schools in the Marshall Islands. 17 -

    There are 2 colleges operating in the Marshall Islands. The College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) and The University of the South Pacific.

    Transport
    Transportation in the Marshall Islands
    The Marshall Islands are served by the Marshall Islands International Airport in Majuro, the Bucholz Army Airfield in Kwajalein, and other small airports and airstrips.
    Health
    The Marshall Islands has the highest rate of leprosy in the world. 18 -
    Culture
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    Marshallese fans.
    Culture of the Marshall Islands
    Although English is an official language and is spoken widely, though not fluently, Marshallese is used by the government. Japanese is also spoken occasionally in some areas.[ ] Although the skills are now in decline, the Marshallese were once able navigators, using the stars and stick-and-shell charts. They are also experienced in canoe-building. They still hold annual competitions involving the unique oceanic sailing canoe, the proa. ]
    Gallery