CHUUK -- HISTORY | Sport Diver


HISTORY According to the Chuuk Historical Preservation Office, Chuuk has been inhabited for about 2,000 years. The first visitors are thought to be people from nearby Kosrae who also created undecorated pottery items and lived off the abundant marine life and vegetation. The first Europeans to visit were the Spanish, who landed in about 1565. Subsequently, visitors from many countries made brief visits including Germans, English, French, Russians, Portuguese and Americans. Chuuk residents had a reputation of being somewhat unfriendly, and it wasn't until 1886 that the Spanish established a presence in Micronesia. The Spanish ruled over Chuuk until 1898, when the Germans arrived. From this time until World War I, Chuuk was under German control. However, during WWI Great Britain engaged in a pact with Japan, and Chuuk was turned over to Japanese interests. Over the years, many Japanese migrated to Micronesia and cultivated the islands, and used the area to establish Japanese naval and air bases, bringing economic prosperity. However, as time passed more Micronesians fled the area and the islands became more important to the Japanese interests. Eventually, as World War II escalated, the U.S. and its allies bombed Japanese facilities in Micronesia, sinking more than 50 ships and destroying anywhere from 200 to 400 (depending upon your source) aircraft. After WWII, the Japanese left Micronesia and the U.S. became its trustee through various alliances. In 1990 the United Nations recognized the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) as an independent nation. Today the islands of the FSM enjoy friendly relations with the United States, which in turn offers financial and defense assistance.