Palau

Palau

Palau, officially the Republic of Palau, is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, some 500 miles east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles south of Tokyo. Having emerged from United Nations trusteeship (administered by the United States) in 1994, it is one of the world's youngest and smallest nations. Sometimes the name is spelled in English today phonetically in accordance with the native pronunciation Belau. Palau's economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture, and fishing. Tourist activity focuses on scuba diving and snorkeling in the islands' rich marine environment, including the Floating Garden Islands to the west of Koror and the Rock Islands to the south. The population of Palau is approximately 21,000, of whom 70% are native Palauans, who are of mixed Melanesian, Micronesian, and Malayan descent. Filipinos form the second largest ethnic group. The official languages of Palau are Palauan and English, except for two states (Sonsorol and Hatohobei) where the local language, along with Palauan, is official. Japanese is also spoken widely amongst older Palauans, and, indeed, retains official status in the State of Angaur.

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