History Podcasts

Micronesia Government - History

Micronesia Government - History

MICRONESIA

The Federated States of Micronesia is a federation of the governments of Chuuk (Truk), Kosrae, Pohnpei, Yap. The President is the both the head of state and head of government. Micronesia has a unicameral legislature, with an independent court.
CURRENT GOVERNMENT
PresidentFalcam, Leo A.
Vice PresidentKillion, Redley
Sec. of Economic AffairsAnefal, Sebastian
Sec. of Finance & AdministrationEhsa, John
Sec. of Foreign AffairsIehsi, Ieske
Sec. of Health, Education, & Social ServicesPretrick, Eliuel
Sec. of JusticeMusrasrik, Emilio
Sec. of Transportation, Communications, & Infrastructure
Dep. Sec. of Economic AffairsMcKenzie, Patrick
Dep. of Foreign AffairsIehsi, Ieske
Dep. of Health, Education, & Social ServicesCantero, Catalino
Speaker of the CongressFritz, Jack
Ambassador to the USMarehalau, Jesse
Permanent Representative to the UN, New YorkNakayama, Masao


Micronesia Government - History

The page shows the structure, outline and principle members of the National Government of the Federated States of Micronesia. You may click on the pictures for biographical data or on the links for additional information.

Executive Branch


Office of the President
PS53, Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2228
Fax: (691) 320-2785

Department of Foreign Affairs
Secretary: The Honorable Kandhi A. Elieisar
Deputy Secretary: Mr. Ricky F. Cantero
PS123, Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2641/2613
Fax: (691) 320-2933
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://dfa.gov.fm/

--> Department of Resource & Development
Secretary:
PS12, Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2646
Fax: (691) 320-5854
Email: [email protected]
- Division of Statistics: [email protected]
Website: https://www.fsmrd.fm/

Department of Transportation, Communication, and Infrastructure
Secretary: The Honorable Carlson D. Apis
PS2, Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2865
Fax: (691) 320-5853
Website: https://tci.gov.fm/

Department of Finance and Administration
Secretary: The Honorable Eugene Amor
PS158, Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2640
Fax: (691) 320-2380
Website: https://dofa.gov.fm/

Department of Health and Social Affairs
Secretary:
PS70, Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2872
Fax: (691) 320-5263
Website: https://hsa.gov.fm/

Department of Justice
Secretary: The Honorable Joses R. Gallen
PS105, Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2644/2608
Fax: (691) 320-2234

Department of Education
Secretary: The Honorable Kalwin Kephas
PS87 Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2643
Fax: (691) 320-5500
Website: https://national.doe.fm/

Department of Environment, Climate Change & Emergency Management
Secretary: The Honorable Andrew Yatilman
PS69, Palikir Station, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-8815
Fax: (691) 320-8936

--> Office of Public Defender
Public Defender:
PS174, Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2648
Fax: (691) 320-5775


Timeline of Yap History

1500 B.C. Yap populated by migrants from Eastern Indonesia or the Philippines. Archaeologists are still studying the migration issue and have not conclusively determined when or how the islands of Yap were settled. The arrival of settlers may have occurred as far back as two-three thousand B.C.

1525 On October 1, the Portuguese explorer Dioga Da Rocha arrives in the islands of Yap, probably Ulithi, and stays for four months. Over the next two centuries more than twenty other explorers and traders of Spanish, British, Dutch and American origin passed through the Yap Islands.

1731 Father Jan Cantova and Father Visitor Walter bring Catholicism to the island of Mogmog, Ulithi. After several months Father Walter returned by ship to Guam. Shortly thereafter Cantova and his party were massacred, perhaps by local priests opposed to the new religion.

1800 -1860 Intermittent trading between Yapese and Europeans for bech-de-mer (sea cucumbers). Britain’s Andrew Cheyne was perhaps the most well known trader during this period. Outer island residents began making regular voyages of their own during this time to Guam and the Marianas.

1818 One hundred Outer Islanders from Lamotrek sail to Guam and a year later establish a colony in Saipan.

1869 Germans establish the first permanent trading station, Godeffroy & Son, under the management of Alfred Teten. By 1874 its holdings included 3,000 acres of land, a cotton plantation and a ship repair operation.

1871 David Dean O’Keefe, and American sailor on a pearl diving expedition aboard the Belvedere, is shipwrecked on Yap and rescued by the Yapese people. He was later taken to Hong Kong on a German trading ship.

1872 O’Keefe returns as skipper of a Chinese junk named Catherine, after his American wife, and begins his famous trade of stone money for copra and bech-de-mer.

1874 Spain claims sovereignty over Yap.

1876 Germany sends a warship to Yap to map the island and protect German interests.

1880’s Yap is established as commercial center of Caroline Islands. During this period Yap serves as the major regional source of copra, home to four trading companies, and a coaling station for Spanish steamers.

Raising the German Flag1885 Spanish-German feud reaches climax. On August 21st, two Spanish ships arrive with a governor, two priests, soldiers, convict laborers, horses, water buffalo, cattle and stones for a governor’s house and a mission. Four days later, the German gunboat Litis drops anchor and a small party races ashore to raise a German flag and claim the island-just prior to the formal colonization ceremony the Spanish are planning.

1886 Pope Leo XII settles ensuing feud between Germany’s Bismarck and Spain’s King Alfonso. the Pope awards Yap and the other Caroline Islands to Spain, but grants Germany and other nations commercial rights. Spain sets up a small garrison and begins building first of six Catholic churches.

1899 Spain sells Yap and the remainder of Spanish Micronesia to Germany for $4.5 million. First German delegation includes a governor secretary, doctor, police chief and 11 Malay police.

1900 -1906 Disease ravages Yap. Population declines from 7,464 to 6,641. Influenza and leprosy are especially potent killers.

1901 O’Keefe disappears at sea. Tagreng Canal opens.

1902 Germans select one boy from each municipality for training as medical officer, and establish municipal medical stations.

1903 Germans open the island’s first hospital near Tarang Island.

1905 German communications station finished, linking Yap with Guam and Shanghai.

1908 Last Spaniards leave.

1909 Phosphate mines open at Angaur, Palau. Germans recruit 98 Yapese to work there.

1910 Pohnpeians who revolted against Germans are exiled to Yap and Palau.

1914 World War I begins. British shelling destroys German communications center, and Japanese Expeditionary Squadron occupied the island on October 7 in a bloodless takeover.

1919 Secret treaty agreement between Japan and Britain guaranteeing Japanese control over all Pacific islands north of the Equator announced to the world in the Treaty of Versailles.

1920 -1940 Rapid Japanese settlement in Yap. Population of Japanese on Yap Islands jumps from 97 to 1,933.

1921 Japan and United States sign treaty recognizing American rights to use Yap’s cable station.

1922 Japanese civilian administration begins under League of Nations Mandate. Tattooing banned.

1925 Typhoon destroys nearly all homes on Yap.

1935 Japan leaves League of Nations. Begins fortification of Yap.

1938 -1939 Military preparations begin. Yapese are forced to work in labor gangs. Nickel mine opens in Gagil. Strip mining for bauxite and phosphate on Yap and Fais.

1941 -1942 World War II begins. Japanese build lighthouse in Gagil and intensive gardening begins in a large part of southern Yap.

1944 Allies begin bombing Colonia, the Japanese airfield at the southern end of the island, and the airfield under construction in Tomil.

1944 allies U.S. Army 323rd Infantry, 81st Division seizes Ulithi unopposed. Island is rapidly turned into a massive staging area. At one point over 1,000 ships were anchored in the Ulithi Lagoon.

1945 Americans occupy island after Japan’s surrender.

1947 Chamorros, who had moved to Yap during the Japanese administration, are resettled on Tinian by the U.S. Navy.

1948 First Protestant church opens.

1952 Navy administration ends. Interior Department takes over the island on June 21st, and King W Chapman is named Yap’s first civilian administrator.

1957 Yap votes to allow sale of alcoholic beverages for the first time to Yapese.

1963 Loran station built. Airport opens.

1964 Bridge across Tagreng Canal linking northern and southern Yap for the first time since World War II opens.

1965 First General Election in Yap for Congress of Micronesia.

1966 Yap High School graduates its first class. U.S. Peace Corps volunteers arrive.

1967 Outer Island High School graduates its first class.

1968 -1969 District legislature organizes.

1969 Congress of Micronesia and U.S. begin first round of negotiations on future political status of Trust Territory Districts.

1978 Micronesia-wide referendum on the establishment of the FSM Constitution. Yap’s approval margin of 95% is highest in Micronesia.

1979 Yap’s Petrus Tun elected as first Vice President of FSM. John Mangefel elected first Governor of Yap.

1979 Yap State Hospital completed.

1986 Compact of Free Association between U.S. and FSM goes into effect. The Compact establishes security and economic agreements between the U.S. and FSM through the end of the 20th Century.

1987 John Hagelelgam of Eauripik, Yap, is sworn in as the second president of the FSM.

1990 September 17, the FSM is formally admitted as a member state of the United Nations General Assembly. Jesse Margelaw of Yap is appointed as the first FSM U.N. Ambassador, on an interim basis.

1992 In January, Martin Yinug of Yap is appointed as the first Micronesian to serve on the FSM Supreme Court.

1995 The Yap Visitor’s Bureau is established to serve the tourism needs of Yap State and its entrepreneurs.


Micronesia Government - History

Tosiwo Nakayama of Onoun(formerly known as Ulul), Chuuk, was born on November 23, 1931 on Piherarh Island in Namonwito Atoll. He attended Truk Intermediate School in 1948-1949 and the Pacific Islands Central School in 1951-1953. In 1955 he was awarded a Trust Territory scholarship which enabled him to study first at the University High School and then for two years at the University of Hawaii. Upon his return from Hawaii to Chuuk (formerly known as Truk) in 1958, he became Principal Clerk, Supervisor of Adult Education, and subsequently, was appointed Political and Economic Advisor to the District Administrator. In 1964 he was appointed to the position of Assistant District Administrator for Public Affairs, Truk District then.

Nakayama spent a life-time of public service in various prominent positions and roles during the United States&rsquo Administration of the UN Trust of the Pacific Islands. These positions and responsibilities included key roles in the Congress of Micronesia and the interim Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia. Nakayama served in the Truk District Legislature as a member from Onoun and was elected President in 1960-1961. In June of 1961, Nakayama served as Micronesian Advisor to the United States Delegation to the United Nations Trusteeship Council. He was elected to the Council of Micronesia in 1962 and 1963.

On September 10, 1963, he married to Miter Haruo in Chuuk.

In January 1965 he was elected to the House of Delegates of the Congress of Micronesia. At the House of Delegates&rsquo organizational meeting he was elected its President. Nakayama was re-elected to the Senate in 1968 while on leave of absence from his job as Assistant District Administrator for Public Affairs for Truk District to continue degree work at the University of Hawaii.

He was a member of the Truk District Scholarship Committee, the Truk Review Advisory Board, the Truk District Recreational Committee, the Truk Board of Education, as well as many other boards and committees.

Nakayama was elected to the Congress of Micronesia in 1965 and served as its Senate President in every term except one, until the Congress of Micronesia was replaced by the FSM Constitutional government in 1979. He also served as president of the 1975 Micronesian Constitutional Convention where he demonstrated leadership and statesmanship that contributed a great deal to the framing of the constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia.

In May 1979, the members of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, acting for the first time under the constitution of the FSM, unanimously elected Nakayama the nation&rsquos first President , and re-elected him for a second term, which ended in 1987. Thus far, Nakayama is the only FSM president that has served two terms.

In October of 1987, he took a position with the Bank of Guam, Chuuk Branch, as the Vice President for Governmental Affairs, a position he held until December of 2003.

Nakayama&rsquos leadership, profound humility, commitment and guidance during the nation&rsquos early efforts towards self-government earned him the respect of his colleagues, the people of the Federated States of Micronesia, and the international community. He is one of the nation&rsquos highly revered and deeply respected Founding Fathers.

A very keen fisherman with an equally keen sense of humor, President Nakayama was married to the late Miter Haruo of Weno, Chuuk and is survived by his ten children and numerous grandchildren. He was 75 when he passed away at the Hawaii Medical Center West in Honolulu on March 29, 2007.


Articles

Weighs whether Christianity in the Pacific has contributed to or diminished violence in the islands.

Christianity and Violence in the Pacific. (In Desiderio Parrilla, La Violencia del Amor. Madrid: Lectio, 2012) Weighs whether Christianity in the Pacific has contributed to or diminished violence in the islands.

Translation from Spanish of the report of the visit of San Lucas in 1564.

Guam Recorder, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1973: 38-40 June 22, 1973 HISTORY

Account of Arellano&rsquos stopover in Chuuk in 1565.

Journal of Pacific History, No. 7, 1972: 26-44. June 22, 1972 HISTORY

History of Western impact on Chuuk through the 19th century.

Micronesian Reporter Vol. 20, No. 4 (1972): 24-31. June 22, 1972 HISTORY

Account of hostilities in 1565 between Spanish on the San Lucas and Chuukese people.

Guam Recorder Vol. 9, No. 2 (1979): 16-21. June 22, 1979 HISTORY

Beachcombers served different functions, depending on the island on which they resided.

The Changing Pacific, Edited by Neil Gunson, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1978: 261-272. June 22, 1978 HISTORY

History of the life and work of Holcomb on Yap.

Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1975: 3-19. Also published in: More Pacific Island Portraits, Edited by Deryck Scarr, Canberra: ANU Press, 1979: 59-74. June 22, 1975 HISTORY

Account of the visit of a French naval expedition to Chuuk in early 19th century.

Guam Recorder, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1974: 42-50 June 22, 1974 HISTORY

History of Western impact on Chuuk through the 19th century.

Journal of Pacific History, No. 8, 1973: 51-73. June 22, 1973 HISTORY

Reflections on the historiography of the Pacific.

Journal of the Pacific Society, Vol. 13, No. 4, January 1991: 1-6. Also published in: Pacific History: Papers from the 8th Pacific History Association Conference, Edited by Donald Rubinstein, Guam: University of Guam Press, 1992: 63-67. June 22, 1991 HISTORY

Reactions to the new canons governing Pacific history.

Pacific Studies, Vol. 11, No. 3, July 1988: 101-110. June 22, 1988 HISTORY

History of the later period of Spanish rule in the Marianas.

Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 23, 1988: 137-155. Also published as a monograph in the series Micronesian Archaeological Survey Report, n.d. June 22, 1988 HISTORY

Short biography of Diego Luis de San Vitores.

Guam: Atlas Publication, 1985. Also published as: "Diego Louis de San Vitores." The Pacific Voice, 6 October 1985: 4-6. June 22, 1985 HISTORY

History of the Marianas from the arrival of missionaries to the end of the fighting between Spanish and Chamorros.

Journal of Pacific History, No. 17, 1982: 115-137. June 22, 1982 HISTORY

Life of the best known trader in the Western Carolines in the 19th century.

Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 43, No. 2: 239-252. June 22, 2021 HISTORY

Memorial of a Jesuit to his 25 years on Chuuk.

Pacific Places, Pacific Histories, Edited by Brij V. Lal, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2004: 102-119. June 22, 2021 HISTORY

Offers a brief glimpse of the historical context of San Vitores&rsquo work on Guam.

In Life and Martyrdom of the Venerable Father Diego Luis de San Vitores, ed by James McDonagh (Guam: University of Guam, 2004), 1-5. June 22, 1996 HISTORY

Review of the major economic changes in the islands throughout their history, highlighting some of the social and political consequences.

Social Change in the Pacific Islands, Edited by Albert Robillard, New York: Kegan Paul International, 1992: 203-19. June 22, 1992 HISTORY


Policy & History

The Compact of Free Association is the agreement which established the relationship between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States. Under the terms of the Compact, the U.S. provides the FSM with economic assistance, defense, and other services and benefits. In exchange, the FSM grants the U.S. certain operating rights in the FSM, denial of access to FSM territory by other nations, and other agreements.

Negotiations for the Compact of Free Association began in 1980. The FSM approved the Compact in a plebiscite held in 1983. The U.S. Congress adopted the Compact in 1986, and President Reagan signed it into law on November 13, 1986.

The Compact also mandated the renegotiation of certain terms of the agreement after a fixed period. This negotiation took place in 2003 and resulted in the Amendments Act of 2003. President Bush signed this into law on December 17, 2003. After the four FSM states ratified the amendments, the FSM Congress approved the amended Compact on May 26, 2004.


Micronesia, Federated States of Government, History, Population & Geography

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography—note: four major island groups totaling 607 islands

Population: 129,658 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: 3.31% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 27.55 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 6.07 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 11.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 34.51 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.34 years
male: 66.38 years
female: 70.34 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.9 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Micronesian(s)
adjective: Micronesian Kosrae(s), Pohnpeian(s), Trukese, Yapese

Ethnic groups: nine ethnic Micronesian and Polynesian groups

Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 47%, other and none 3%

Languages: English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89%
male: 91%
female: 88% (1980 est.)

Country name:
conventional long form: Federated States of Micronesia
conventional short form: none
former: Kosrae, Ponape, Truk, and Yap Districts (Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands)
abbreviation: FSM

Government type: constitutional government in free association with the US the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986

National capital: Palikir

Administrative divisions: 4 states Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk (Truk), Yap

Independence: 3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)

National holiday: Proclamation of the Federated States of Micronesia, 10 May (1979)

Constitution: 10 May 1979

Legal system: based on adapted Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws

Suffrage: 18 years of age universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jacob NENA (acting president since NA July 1996, president since 9 May 1997) Vice President Leo A. FALCAM (since 9 May 1997) note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government Vice President Jacob NENA became acting president in July 1996 after President Bailey OLTER suffered a stroke OLTER was declared incapacitated in November 1996 as provided for by the constitution, 180 days later, with OLTER still unable to resume his duties, NENA was sworn in as the new president he will serve for the remaining two years of OLTER's term
head of government: President Jacob NENA (acting president since NA July 1996, president since 9 May 1997) Vice President Leo A. FALCAM (since 9 May 1997) note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government Vice President Jacob NENA became acting president in July 1996 after President Bailey OLTER suffered a stroke OLTER was declared incapacitated in November 1996 as provided for by the constitution, 180 days later, with OLTER still unable to resume his duties, NENA was sworn in as the new president he will serve for the remaining two years of OLTER's term
cabinet: Cabinet
elections: president and vice president elected by Congress from among the four senators-at-large for four-year terms election last held 11 May 1995 (next to be held NA May 1999) note—because of the vacancy to the post of vice president created after NENA left to become acting president, a new election to fill the position for the remaining two years of the term was held on 9 May 1997 (next to be held NA May 1999)
election results: Bailey OLTER reelected president percent of Congress vote—NA Leo A. FALCAM elected vice president percent of Congress vote—NA

Legislative branch: unicameral Congress (14 seats members elected by popular vote four - one elected from each of state—to serve four-year terms and 10—elected from single-member districts delineated by population—to serve two-year terms)
elections: elections for four-year term seats last held 7 March 1995 (next to be held NA March 1999) elections for two-year term seats last held NA March 1997 (next to be held NA March 1999)
election results: percent of vote—NA seats—independents 14

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: no formal parties

International organization participation: AsDB, ESCAP, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFC, IMF, Intelsat, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jesse Bibiano MAREHALAU
chancery: 1725 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4383
FAX: [1] (202) 223-4391
consulate(s) general: Honolulu and Tamuning (Guam)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) Charge d'Affaires Cheryl A. MARTIN
embassy: address NA, Kolonia
mailing address: P. O. Box 1286, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia 96941
telephone: [691] 320-2187
FAX: [691] 320-2186

Flag description: light blue with four white five-pointed stars centered the stars are arranged in a diamond pattern

Economy—overview: Economic activity consists primarily of subsistence farming and fishing. The islands have few mineral deposits worth exploiting, except for high-grade phosphate. The potential for a tourist industry exists, but the remoteness of the location and a lack of adequate facilities hinder development. Financial assistance from the US is the primary source of revenue, with the US pledged to spend $1 billion in the islands in the 1990s. Geographical isolation and a poorly developed infrastructure are major impediments to long-term growth.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$220 million (1996 est.)
note: GDP is supplemented by grant aid, averaging perhaps $100 million annually

GDP—real growth rate: 1% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,760 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 4% (1996 est.)

Labor force: NA
by occupation: two-thirds are government employees

Unemployment rate: 27% (1989)

Budget:
revenues : $58 million
expenditures: $52 million, including capital expenditures of $4.7 million (FY95/96 est.)

Industries: tourism, construction, fish processing, craft items from shell, wood, and pearls

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 38,500 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: NA kWh

Electricity—consumption per capita: NA kWh

Agriculture—products: black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes pigs, chickens

Exports:
total value: $73 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: fish, garments, bananas, black pepper
partners: Japan, US, Guam

Imports:
total value: $168 million (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
commodities: food, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, beverages
partners: US, Japan, Australia

Debt—external: $129 million

Economic aid:
recipient: under terms of the Compact of Free Association, the US will provide $1.3 billion in grant aid during the period 1986-2001

Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: US currency is used

Fiscal year: 1 October㬚 September

Telephone system:
domestic: islands interconnected by shortwave radiotelephone (used mostly for government purposes)
international: satellite earth stationsת Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 1, shortwave 1

Radios: 17,000 (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 6

Televisions: 1,290 (1993 est.)

Highways:
total: 240 km
paved: 42 km
unpaved: 198 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Colonia (Yap), Kolonia (Pohnpei), Lele, Moen

Merchant marine: none

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1997 est.)


Citations should indicate: Archived in the Library of Congress Web Archives at www.loc.gov. When citing a particular website include the archived website's Citation ID (e.g., /item/lcwa00010240). Researchers are advised to follow standard citation guidelines for websites, pages, and articles. Researchers are reminded that many of the materials in this web archive are copyrighted and that citations must credit the authors/creators and publishers of the works. For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.


The Constitution of Micronesia

The Constitution of Micronesia was drafted in 1975 and adopted in 1979 as the supreme law in the federation. The constitution follows the model of the United States Constitution, and therefore grants separation of power between the various government branches, and guarantees fundamental human rights and freedoms. The constitution defines the structure of the government and responsibilities of civil servants. Universal suffrage in the federation is granted to all citizens above 18 years of age. The constitution was amended once in 1990. Constitutional amendment motions in the 21st century have been rejected.


Micronesia Government - History

Chuuk, formerly known as Truk, has a land area of about 49.2 square miles and includes seven major island groups. Pohnpei, formerly known as Ponape, has about 133.4 square miles of land. Almost all of that total is accounted for by Pohnpei island, the largest in the FSM. Pohnpei also includes the outlying island groups of Pingelap, Mokil, Nukuoro, and Kapingamarangi. Yap is made up of 4 relatively large islands, 7 small islands, and 134 atolls, with a total land area of about 45 square miles. Kosrae, formerly known as Kusaie, is essentially one high island of 42.3 square miles.

Each state governments under their constitutions are structurally similar, all utilizing three co-equal branches of government, the executive, legislative and judicial. Each of the state constitutions contain provisions recognizing and preserving local custom and tradition.


The State of Chuuk is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of of Micronesia, along with the states of Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. Chuuk is the state with the largest population with about 53,000 people, with more than 40,000 of those living on the larger islands in the main lagoon.

Chuuk State has its own constitutional government with three co-equal branches of government consisting of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

The Governor and Lieutenant Governor are the leaders of the Executive Branch and have the primary duty of executing the laws and administering state government services. See, Art. VI of the Chuuk Constitution.

The legislative or law making power of the state is vested in the Legislature, which consists of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. This power extends to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the Chuuk Constitution or the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Senate consists of 10 members, with the President of the Senate as its highest officer. The House of Representatives consists of 28 members, with the Speaker as it's highest officer. See, Art. V of the Chuuk Constitution.

The Chuuk State Supreme Court has constitutional jurisdiction to review the actions of any state administrative agency, and decide all relevant questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions and determine the meaning or applicability of the terms of an agency action. See, Art. VII of the Chuuk Constitution.


The State of Kosrae is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia, along with the states of Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap. Kosrae is the eastern-most island in the FSM, located approximately 600 kilometers southeast of Pohnpei.

Kosrae is a 109 square kilometer island surrounded by a reef. Kosrae is circular in shape, measuring only 16 kilometers across at its widest point, and it is the only state without an outer island.

Kosrae's main natural resources are the abundant marine resources surrounding the island and the beautiful lush green island which has significant agricultural potential. The island is mountainous with a dense jungle, with white coral sand beaches around the rim. Kosrae is known for its citrus fruit which includes delicious oranges, tangerines, and limes.

Legend has it that Kosrae was shaped by the gods from the transformed figure of a sleeping lady. Indeed, the skyline from many parts of Kosrae reveal the silhouette of a female body.

Kosrae State has its own constitutional government with three co-equal branches of government consisting of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

The Executive Branch is headed by a Governor and Lt. Governor who appoint their own cabinet members and are primarily responsible for executing the laws and administering state government services. See, Art. V of the Kosrae Constitution.

The legislative or law making power of the state is vested in the Kosrae Legislature whose jurisdiction extends to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with its constitution. The Legislature is composed of 14 Senators who are elected by the voters of the electoral districts of Lelu, Malem, Tafunsak, and Utwe. See, Art. IV of the Kosrae Constitution.

The judicial power of the State is vested in the Kosrae State Court and such inferior courts as may be created by law. The judiciary interprets the constitution and laws of the state. The decisions of the Kosrae State Court are appealable to the Appellate Division of the FSM Supreme Court as stated in Art. VI, Sect. 6, of the Kosrae Constitution. See, Art. VI of the Kosrae Constitution.


The State of Pohnpei is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia, along with the states of Chuuk, Kosrae, and Yap. Pohnpei lies just east of Kosrae, which is the eastern-most island in the FSM.

Pohnpei island is the biggest island in the FSM and is circular in shape. Pohnpei has lush tropical forests, and beautiful waterfalls and rivers. It's famous landmarks are Sokehs Rock and the ancient ruins of Nan Madol. It has abundant marine resources especially in its outlying atolls.

Pohnpei State has its own constitutional government with three co-equal branches of government consisting of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The Pohnpei Constitution also upholds, respects, and protects the customs and traditions of the traditional kingdoms of Pohnpei. See, Art. 5 of the Pohnpei Constitution.

The Executive Branch is headed by a Governor and Lt. Governor who appoint their own cabinet members and are primarily responsible for executing the laws and administering state government services. See, Art. 9 of the Pohnpei Constitution.

The legislative or law making power of the state is vested in the Pohnpei Legislature whose primary responsibility is to make the law and create state government programs. The Legislature is composed of 23 Senators who are elected by the voters of the electoral districts of Kapingamarangi, Mwokil, Ngetik, Nukuoro, Pingelap, Kolonia Town, Net, Uh, Kitti, Madolenihmw, Sokehs. See, Art. 8 of the Pohnpei Constitution.

The judicial power of the State is vested in the Pohnpei State Court and such inferior courts as may be created by law. The judiciary interprets the constitution and laws of the state. See, Art. 10 of the Pohnpei Constitution.


The State of Yap is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia, along with the states of Pohnpei, Chuuk and Kosrae. Yap is the Western-most island in the FSM, located about midway between Guam and Palau.

Yap is comprised of the main islands of Yap, Gagil, Tomil, and Rumung. Yap State stretches eastward, for another 1,200 or so kilometers and includes another 134 outer islands, most of them low-lying atolls.

The Yapese were seafaring people who sailed vast distances over the Pacific. Even in recent times, canoes from Yap have sailed to the Marianas, Okinawa, and Palau. The trip to Palau was made to re-enact the quarrying of stone money. In centuries past, Yapese made the life-threatening 1000 kilometer round trip voyage to Palau's Rock Islands to quarry the now famous stone money. Yap is probably best known for this stone money - huge disks of crytalline stone. These stone disks measure up to two meters in diameter, and weigh as much as four tons, making them the world's largest currency.

Yap State has its own constitutional government with three co-equal branches of government consisting of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Yap also has traditional leaders that serve in the Council of Pilung and the Council of Tamol which perform functions concerning tradition and custom. See Art. III of the Yap State Constitution .

The Executive Branch is headed by a Govenor and a Lt. Governor and they are primarily resposible for executing the laws and administering state government services. See Art. VI of the Yap State Constitution.

The legislative power of the State is vested in the Legislature. Such power extends to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the Yap Constitution. The Legislature is composed of ten members, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective election districts. See Art. V of the Yap State Constitution.

The judicial power of the State is vested in its State Court, and other courts as may be created by law. The State Court is the highest court of the State and consists of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices. The number of Associate Justices may be increased by law upon the request of the State Court. Retired justices may serve temporarily on the State Court at the request of the Chief Justice. See Art. VII of the Yap State Constitution.


Watch the video: History of Micronesia (January 2022).