geographical name \sī-ˈpan, -ˈpän, ˈsī-ˌ\

Definition of SAIPAN

island W Pacific in S cen Marianas area 47 square miles (122 square kilometers), pop 62,392
Sai·pa·nese \ˌsī-pə-ˈnēz, -ˈnēs\ adjective or noun


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Island (pop., 2000: 62,392), Northern Mariana Islands, in the western Pacific Ocean. It has an area of 42 sq mi (109 sq km). Its chief settlement, Chalan Kanoa, is the Northern Marianas' commonwealth centre. Ruled by Spain (1565–1899), it then passed to Germany (1899–1914). It was a Japanese mandate from 1920, but in 1944 during World War II it was captured by U.S. forces after fierce fighting. It subsequently was the headquarters of the U.S.-administered UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (terminated 1990). Copra is the island's chief product.


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