Micronesia (Japanese: ミクロネシア), officially Federated States of Micronesia (ミクロネシア連邦) is an independent nation comprising the Palau, Northern Marianas, Marshall and Caroline Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Created from the former Japanese territory of Nan'yō by the Allied Council. Briefly administered by the Joint Allies Administration for the Pacific (JAAP).
Since 1947, although independent, Micronesia keeps strong economical and cultural links with Japan.
Government of Micronesia
According to the Constitution, all Micronesian have equal right and there can be no discrimination on language,sex, race or social status. All citizens 18 years and older have full political rights.
- The executive power is in charge of a President, who is head of state and government. He is assisted by a Vice president. Both are elected directly for a four-year term, with the limitation of two consecutive terms. The President names a Ministerial Cabinet, with approval of Congress.
- Legislative power resides in Congress. It has two chambers, a Senate, composed of three senators from each state and a House of Delegates, with a minimum of three delegates from each state. They are elected by a system of proportional representation and for a term of four years.
- Judicial power is in charge of a Supreme Court.
Before its independence there was no local parties, after its independence and for the Constituent Assembly political groups were formed. The main parties are:
- Micronesia Renaissance Party
- United Democratic Party
- Social Mass Party
- People's Democratic Union
Administrative division of Micronesia
Each state, formed from groups of islands, has a elected Governor and Legislature. They serve a four-year term. The States are:
- Palau or Belau (Caroline I.)
- Yap (Caroline I.)
- Truk or Chuuk (Caroline I.)
- Ponape or Pohnpei (Caroline I.)
- Kusaie or Kosrae (Caroline I.)
- Marshall Islands
- Northern Mariana Island
Local government is in charge of elected Local Island Group Councils and nominated Island Administrators, the latter in unpopulated island groups and atolls.
Relationship with Japan and other countries
The relationship of Japan and Micronesia are regulated by two treaties of 1950:
1) The Economic Cooperation Treaty, signed between Micronesia and Japan, establishes a free trade zone between the two countries. It also establishes assistance and financial help in building communications infrastructure (sea ports and airports), Micronesian and Japanese citizens traveling and residing in both countries require only a National Identification document. It establishes a system of fishery concessions and quotas.
2) The Scientific, Educational and Cultural Friendship Treaty. It establishes a scholarship fund for students of Micronesia in Japan, equality in access to education in Japan, and an exchange student system in secondary and higher education. Japan will help in establishing higher education institutions in Micronesia.
With former allied countries (US, Federation of Socialist Republics, Imperial Commonwealth Federation, French Union and Commonwealth of States) it has signed a Defense Treaty in 1948. The former allied countries guarantee and are responsible of the military defense and independence of Micronesia. They can install military bases in Micronesia. Coast guard facilities and services are provided by a joint force. They also assist in disaster response and recovery and hazard mitigation programs.
Economy of Micronesia
Economic activity in Micronesia consists primarily of subsistence farming, industrial crops (copra, sugarcane, coconuts, bananas, taro, tapioca, pineapples and other tropical fruits), pearls, and industrial fishing. The potential for a tourist industry exists, but the remote location of some areas and a lack of adequate facilities hinder development. The main influx of tourism comes from Japan.
Previously, all economic activity during Japanese rule was carried out by state-run enterprises or private monopolies. After 1945 all Japanese companies were either nationalized, dissolved or downsized. Establishment of other foreign interests was promoted and set to embark on consumer goods, farming, fishing, food industry, banking and insurance, transport and fuel, services and tourism. Sea and air transport was liberalized. Although, the major companies would be the NYK Line, Pacific Shipping and Air Micronesia.