Republic of, a group of Pacific islands in the W part of the Caroline group: taken by U.S. forces after severe fighting 1944; formerly a Japanese mandate, then under U.S. trusteeship; gained independence 1981. 171 sq. mi. (443 sq. km).
Republic of Palau, a republic comprising a group of islands in the W Pacific, in the W Caroline Islands; administratively part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands 1947–87; entered into an agreement of free association with the US (1980); became fully independent in 1994. Chief island: Babelthuap. Capital: Melekeok, on Babelthuap (functions moved from Koror in 2006). Pop: 21 108 (2013 est). Area: 476 sq km (184 sq miles) Former name Pelew Islands