Micronesia

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Overview
Officially the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), this country of tiny, scattered islands in the Western Pacific is now frequently referred to just as “Micronesia,” even though that term correctly refers to a geographical region that includes the Mariana Islands, Palau, the Marshalls, the Gilberts, and Nauru. Except for the latter two and Guam in the Marianas, these islands were part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, established after World War II by the United Nations but administered by the United States beginning in 1947. The FSM consists of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. These four out of the original seven Trust Territory districts are together for one reason—the United States had no plans for military bases in any of them. Abandoned by those areas where the United States either had or planned to have military bases—the Marshalls, Palau, and the Northern Marianas—the four remaining “states” were more or less forced to stick together, having nothing to bargain with except allowing the United States to prevent their location from being exploited by powers unfriendly to the United States. More than 60 years later,  they are still getting money from the United States. Whether they can survive when that income source ends is questionable. Although blessed with breathtaking scenery, several distinct cultures and languages make unity difficult, and the possibility remains that the FSM may not last, as different states decide to go their own way.
 
Note: According to a study conducted by the United Nations World Health Western Pacific Regional office and the London-based International Obesity Task Force, the FSM was recently listed as second in the world in highest percentage of overweight adults.
 
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Basic Information
Location: The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), including the states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, is located in the Western Pacific and consists of several groups of scattered islands stretching almost 3000 kilometers from east to west, yet containing only 702 square kilometers of dry land. To the east is the Marshall Islands, to the north Guam and the Mariana Islands, to the west is Palau, and to the south is Papua New Guinea.
 
Population: 107,000 (2008)
 
Ethnic Groups: among the many groups are Kosraean, Mwoakilloan, Pingalapese, Pohnpeian, Polynesian (Nukuoro and Kapingamorangi), Mortlockese, Lagoon Chuukese, Western Chuukese, Hall Island Chuukese, Satawalese, Woleaian, Ulithian, and Yapese. 
 
Languages: Kosraean, Mwoakilloan, Pohnpeian, Polynesian (Nukuoro & Kapingamorangi), Lagoon Chuukese, Mortlockese, Western Chuukese, Satawalese, Woleaian, Ulithian, and Yapese. 
 
Religions: Islanders are fairly evenly divided between Roman Catholic and various Protestant churches. However, Kosrae is entirely Protestant, and outer island Yap entirely Catholic. 
 

 

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History
The history of Micronesia is a lot more complex than one would think. The islands were settled about 2,700 years ago by Austronesian groups migrating up from Melanesia. The Spanish claimed the islands based on their early forays into the region but never really established themselves anywhere except Pohnpei. The Pohnpieans rebelled and drove the Spaniards out, after which the Spanish pretty much left the islands alone, aside from some minimal activity in Yap, preferring to concentrate on their colony in the Mariana Islands.  Pohnpei and Kosrae became favorite stops for whalers, and beachcomber communities developed in both. One beachcomber named David O’Keefe established himself in Yap and got the Yapese to make copra by offering them rides in his ship to go to Palau to quarry their unique stone money. Most outsiders avoided Chuuk, known for a while as Truk.   After the Spanish-American War the islands were sold by Spain to Germany. The Germans established themselves in all the groups, even Chuuk. During World War I the Japanese, as members of the Allies, occupied the German-held islands in Micronesia. After the war the League of Nations legitimized Japanese control by making the islands a Mandated Territory. After the League criticized Japan for its attacks on China in the 1920s, Japan quit the league and fortified the islands. During WWII United States forces bombed the islands frequently, and after the war took control from the defeated Japanese.

 

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Micronesia's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Micronesia
The islands, along with the Marshalls, Palau, and the Northern Marianas, were put into the trust territory system of the United Nations. However, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands was a special strategic trust territory set up through the UN Security Council, where the United States has a veto. Accused of neglect, in the 1960s, the United States increased funding for the islands and moved the people away from a subsistence lifestyle, making them dependent on cash from the United States. Meanwhile, different parts of the Trust Territory began to split up, cutting their own deals with the United States with regard to future status. Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae were left to stick together as the FSM. In 1979 a “free association” status was created and fully implemented in 1986. The United States still maintains a potential veto over Micronesian foreign affairs, but the islanders get money from the US and are allowed to migrate to the United States. Thousands have. Meanwhile, the free association has evolved into a de facto independence, and Micronesia does have diplomatic relations with several nations.
 
Since being allowed entry into the United States in 1986, with permission to work, thousands of Micronesians have migrated. This has helped relieve the small islands of its burgeoning population which exploded beginning in the 1970s. It also provides cash for the islanders who stay behind in the form of remittances from relatives who have migrated. The Micronesians have established large communities on the US Territory of Guam and the nearby US Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. They have also settled in significant numbers in Hawaii. Census data is limited and hampered by the fact that Palauans, Chamorros, and Marshallese are also considered Micronesians, but recently Micronesians from the FSM have begun moving to the mainland United States and establishing small but close knit communities on the West Coast and in such far-flung states as Missouri and Florida, among others. Within the FSM itself are numbers of Filipinos, Chinese, and Americans who live and work there.       
 
The United States only had relations with the various colonial rulers of the islands but never the islanders themselves. The United States, as were all countries, was kept out of Micronesia by the Japanese in the 1920s and 1930s. After WWII the United States became the administrating authority of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands of which the FSM groups were part. The purpose of Trust Territories, from the United Nations standpoint, was for more advanced countries to take care of places that had been League of Nations mandated territories which meant they had been colonies of the losers of WWI, Germany and Turkey. The administering nation was supposed to prepare the trust territories for self-rule. However, the United States made little effort in that area until the early 1970s, after a huge government bureaucracy, providing many jobs all paid for by the United States, had already been developed. Various future status options were discussed, including independence, statehood, commonwealth, and free association. Within the Trust Territory, the Northern Marianas was the most modernized and was interested in a more permanent tie to the United States. It separated from the other islands to pursue a commonwealth covenant. Palau and the Marshalls liked the idea of free association, but wanted a deal separate from the other island groups. The United States then negotiated with FSM leaders to draft a compact of free association.
 
Free Association was proclaimed as a partial independence. The islanders would get to control their local government; they would be defended by the US military; they would receive money from the United States for operations, capital improvement, and economic development; and they would get the right to migrate to the United States or any US Territory. The United States, in turn, would get “denial rights,” or the right to deny certain countries access and activity in the islands. The finances for the original pact were to last for 15 years, by which time the FSM economy was supposed to be developed enough to support the local governments without US aid. That didn’t happen. In 2004 a new financial agreement was enacted, with about $1.8 billion to be given by the United States over a 20-year period. Much of that will go into a trust fund, and strict controls on spending have been instituted by the United States to try to reduce or even eliminate the massive corruption that has plagued island governments. However, many Micronesians consider the financial controls unduly harsh and punitive.
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Current U.S. Relations with Micronesia
The United States is currently the main supplier of the funds the FSM needs to even exist. New strict controls on spending have reduced overt corruption and prevented money from being misspent. However sometimes the money doesn’t get spent at all, even for the intended project, and gets returned. The goal is to get the FSM financially independent by 2023, when the current funding will end. Whether the interest from the trust fund will be enough to support the FSM in the 2020s and beyond is unclear.
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Where Does the Money Flow
The areas most concerned with Micronesia are the US territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and the state of Hawaii. These are the areas most affected by Micronesian immigration. In Guam, for example, Micronesian immigrants are sending thousands of students to local schools and regularly flood the only public hospital’s emergency room, without insurance, for everything from truly life threatening illnesses to simple colds. The United States promised to compensate territories and states for what has come to be called “compact impact,” or the impact of the compacts of free association on various areas in the Untied States or its territories. However, the United States usually provides money at a much lower figure than Guam, Saipan, or Hawaii request. For their part, these US Territories and Hawaii feel the compact has resulted in unfunded mandates, as the Micronesians access various public services and whichever welfare programs they can qualify for. 
           
In 2007, the United States imported $4 million worth of goods from Micronesia with fish providing 97% of the total. U.S. imports of Micronesian clothing, which used to be mildly significant, all but ceased after 2005. On the other hand, U.S. exports to Micronesia in 2007 totals $37.8 million. The most important exports were trucks, boat parts and rice and other foods. Many US programs are administered in the islands, particularly in education and health. These are, however, all under the watchful eye of the United States.
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Controversies
Mobil Oil and Pohnpei
With regards to the United States, the main controversy is the new tight controls the United States has placed on spending in an attempt to prevent corruption that had been rampant. On Pohnpei, there has also been concern over new fuel contracts signed with Mobil Oil. There is worry over the future adequacy of fuel supply and also some environmental concerns. 
Controversy in Mobil Oil Micronesia Acquisition Plan (by Bill Jaynes, Kaselehlie Press)
 
Staying Togethor
The biggest controversy in the FSM is whether or not it will stay together. Yap, which has the best financial record and seems to always manage to live within its means, has been considering breaking away from the FSM and joining Palau. The Yapese and Palauans have a long history of association and combining might work. It might be beneficial for Yap since it will allow them to leave the FSM and join a more efficient entity in Palau, but how it will benefit Palau is not clear. Pohnpei, which narrowly voted not to join the FSM but was obligated to do so because the other three states voted for it, is considering breaking away and becoming a separate and independent entity. They might stay combined with Kosrae, with whom they have a long history of association and with whom they were combined as one district of the old Trust Territory. That would leave Chuuk to fend for itself. Chuuk has the biggest population and the fewest resources and has the reputation for being the most corrupt. Chuuk feels it doesn’t get a proportional share of revenues considering its large population and therefore can’t make headway on solving its many problems.
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Human Rights
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
Suzanne K. Hale                       25 Aug-2004 to August 1, 2007
Larry Miles Dinger                    January 14, 2002 to August 2, 2004
Diane Watson                                       October 19, 1999 to January 15, 2002
            Watson currently represents California’s 33rd district in the U.S. House of Rpresentatives.
Cheryl A. Martin                      August 1996 to October 1999
March Fong Eu                         May 18, 1994 to July 5, 1996
            Fong Eu had previously served 18 years as California’s State Secretary of State.
Aurelia E. Brazeal                     September 18, 1990 to July 6, 1993
Michael G. Wygant                   October 2, 1987 to May 29, 1990
 
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Micronesia's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Takesy, Asterio

Referring to President Obama’s birthplace of Hawai’i, the new ambassador from Micronesia recently greeted the President as a “fellow Pacific islander,” during a White House ceremony on January 18, 2012, welcoming new ambassadors to Washington, DC. Asterio Takesy is a senior Micronesian diplomat who has previously served as his country’s representative to the U.S. Formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, established by the United Nations and administered by the U.S. beginning in 1947, Micronesia today depends on financial support from the U.S. pursuant to a Compact originally signed in 1986.

 
Takesy was born in Chuuk (formerly Truk) State, Micronesia, on May 25, 1944, just three months after the U.S. Navy destroyed a Japanese military base in Chuuk in Operation Hailstone, an important World War II naval battle. As a result of the Navy’s “island-hopping” strategy, however, the Japanese remained in control until the war’s end in August 1945. In 1963, Takesy graduated from Xavier High School, widely considered the country’s best high school and the alma mater of most of Micronesia’s senior leaders. From 1963 to 1970, Takesy attended the University of Guam and the University of New Mexico, where he studied Marine Biology, Political Science and Public Administration.
 
Takesy began his career as an administrative assistant in the Chuuk District Education Department, followed by stints in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Headquarters Information Office on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, and service as chief clerk in the former Congress of the Micronesian House of Representatives. In 1975 he served as assistant secretary for the Micronesia Constitutional Convention, which led ultimately to Micronesia’s independence in 1979. In the meantime, Takesy was executive director of the Commission on Future Political Association with the U.S.
 
From 1979 to 1982, Takesy served as the Representative of Micronesia to the U.S, in effect becoming Micronesia’s first ambassador to the U.S., although that term was not officially used. Addressing Americans in a 1980 interview with The Washington Post, Takesy explained that “Our constitution is very much like yours...except that more rights are specified in our Bill of Rights.” That same year he argued at the United Nations that Micronesia was not yet ready to accept the independence that the United States wanted to grant in 1981 because more than thirty years of U.S. rule had turned his country into a welfare state without providing an infrastructure for a viable national economy. He noted, '”I am the only one in my area who still knows how to navigate an oceangoing canoe from island to island.”
 
Returning home in 1982, he served as Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs until 1989, when he became Acting Secretary until 1991. Responding in 1985 to the introduction of investment from Japan, he said, “The Japanese went about it the right way. They asked us what we need, what we want. The Americans are always telling us what to do. They say, ‘This is what your problem is, and here's how you must solve it.’”
 
Takesy also found time to represent the Western Namonwitto and Hall Islands of Chuuk State at the Second Micronesia Constitutional Convention in 1990.
 
From 1991 to 1995, Takesy served as Micronesia’s Secretary of Resources and Development, and then as Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 1997. He left that job to work as executive director for the Joint Committee on Compact Economic Negotiations from 1997 to 2000.
 
In January 2003, Takesy left Micronesia to become the executive director of the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa, where he served two three-year terms and returned to Micronesia in January 2009. SPREP, a regional organization established by the governments of the Pacific region to look after its environment, has been particularly vocal in advocating measures to curb global warming, which is a threat to many low-lying Pacific islands. Shortly after his return to Micronesia, he rejoined government service as a Senior Advisor on the Five-year Compact Review.
 
Takesy has served on the Boards of several organizations, including the Micronesian Telecommunications Corporation, the Micronesian Maritime Authority (now the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority) and the National Fisheries Corporation. Takesy is married to Justina Yangilmau of Palau. They have three daughters and four grandchildren.
 
 
 
 

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Micronesia's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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Comments

Bermin F. Weibacher 4 years ago
AHPW'S case has gone up one notch in the legal totem pole. It is now in the US District Court in the CNMI. Contact Bill Jane, editor of Kaselehlie Press (kpress@mail.fm) for more informtion.
Charlie Lachman 4 years ago
Yosiwo - Congratulations on your outstanding carreer, perhaps you remember me? I was a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to PTA while you were a trainee in Ponape. I worked with PTA (or PTB as it was known then) from 1968-1973. I have returned twice to Ponape once in 1978 & again in 2005 but was unable to find time to visit Kusai. My wife & daughter loved our trip and stay at the Village Hotel in 2005. I hope the present difficulties between the Arthurs & Ponape State can be resolved. ...

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U.S. Ambassador to Micronesia

Rosen, Doria
ambassador-image

The Pacific island nation of Micronesia will soon have its eighth U.S. ambassador, a career Foreign Service Officer who will be serving her first ambassadorship. Dorothea-Maria (Doria) Rosen was nominated by President Obama on March 9, 2012, subject to Senate confirmation. This country of tiny, scattered islands in the Western Pacific used to be a territory of the U.S., which has had an embassy there since September 20, 1989.

 
Born in New York City on September 7, 1950, Rosen attended local public schools. She earned an A.B. in Psychology at Vassar College in 1972 and a J.D. at Hofstra University Law School in 1975. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1976 and to the California State Bar in 1977. From 1976 to 1979 she served as an Army Captain on active duty in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps in Heidelberg, Germany, and as an Army Reservist from 1979 to 1981. 
 
Rosen joined the Foreign Service in 1981. Her first two postings were to serve as vice consul at the U.S. embassy in Bucharest, Romania, from 1981 to 1983, and at the consulate in Stuttgart, Germany, from 1983 to 1986. Back in Washington, DC, Rosen served as an analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1986 to 1988. In 1988, she began a string of foreign assignments, serving as deputy chief of the Immigrant Visa Section in Seoul, South Korea, from 1988 to 1989, and as consular officer in Accra, Ghana, from 1989 to 1991. Returning to Germany, Rosen served as political military officer at the embassy in Berlin from 1991 to 1994. She then served as Nonimmigrant Visa chief in Manila, Philippines, from 1994 to 1996, and as Visa Branch chief in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1996 to 1999.
 
Assigned to a stateside job for the first time in more than a decade, Rosen served as director of the Office of Public and Diplomatic Liaison in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 1999 to 2001. She then served three straight postings in Europe: deputy chief of mission in Reykjavik, Iceland, from 2001 to 2004; consul general in Bern, Switzerland, from 2004 to 2008; and deputy principal officer in Frankfurt, Germany, from 2008 to 2011. She then served as the Diplomat-in-Residence for the Midwest region, based out of the University of Illinois at Chicago, from September 2011 to early 2012.
 
Rosen has studied French, Romanian and German. She has three adult children: Michael, Thomas and Katharine.
-Matt Bewig
 
 

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Micronesia

Prahar, Peter
ambassador-image

A former Air Force translator, Peter A. Prahar, is the latest ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), a country of tiny, scattered islands in the Western Pacific. In 1983, the US and FSM governments entered into a status of Free Association, which provides Micronesia with significant financial assistance in exchange for U.S. defense rights in the region.  The FSM islands were part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, established after World War II by the United Nations but administered by the United States beginning in 1947.  The FSM consists of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.  These four out of the original seven Trust Territory districts are together for one reason—the U.S. had no plans for military bases in any of them. President Barack Obama nominated Prahar for the post October 9, 2009, and he was confirmed by the Senate November 20.

 
Prahar’s father, Louis, was a land surveyor and his mother, Ruth, was an attorney and a high school math teacher. Born circa 1951, Prahar grew up in the small Oregon coast town of Bandon and graduated from Bandon High School in 1969. As of 2009, he had not visited his hometown since 1972. 
 
After graduation, Prahar joined the Air Force, which sent him to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, to study Mandarin Chinese, and then to Air Force Intelligence School. Prahar served as an Air Force linguist from 1971 to 1975, with assignments in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Prahar also took classes at the International Christian University in Tokyo, transferring his credits back to the University of Michigan, from which graduated with a B.A. in Political Science.  Prahar ran a Radio Shack store for about 10 years in San Francisco before joining the Foreign Service.
 
A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Prahar’s early postings included tours in the China, Japan, Albania, Ireland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and as desk officer for Rwanda.  He volunteered to work with the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) Mission in Kosovo in 1993. At the time, he told The Washington Post, “"Like a lot of people my age, I got interested in politics through the Vietnam War. I've always been interested in questions of peace and war -- and when the opportunity came to prevent a war from spreading, I jumped at it.” Prahar returned to Kosovo in 1998 to assist in establishing a U.S. observer mission.  
 
He subsequently served as Deputy Director (and then Director) of the Office of Asian, African and European Programs in the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.  Most recently, he served as the Transnational Crime Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  He and his wife, Hong Kong native Amy Kit-ling Choi Prahar, met on their first day at International Christian University in 1975 and married in 1977
 
Prahar speaks Russian, Japanese, French, Albanian, German and both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.
 
Our Man in Micronesia (by Steve McCasland, Bandon Western World)
 
 
 

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Overview
Officially the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), this country of tiny, scattered islands in the Western Pacific is now frequently referred to just as “Micronesia,” even though that term correctly refers to a geographical region that includes the Mariana Islands, Palau, the Marshalls, the Gilberts, and Nauru. Except for the latter two and Guam in the Marianas, these islands were part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, established after World War II by the United Nations but administered by the United States beginning in 1947. The FSM consists of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. These four out of the original seven Trust Territory districts are together for one reason—the United States had no plans for military bases in any of them. Abandoned by those areas where the United States either had or planned to have military bases—the Marshalls, Palau, and the Northern Marianas—the four remaining “states” were more or less forced to stick together, having nothing to bargain with except allowing the United States to prevent their location from being exploited by powers unfriendly to the United States. More than 60 years later,  they are still getting money from the United States. Whether they can survive when that income source ends is questionable. Although blessed with breathtaking scenery, several distinct cultures and languages make unity difficult, and the possibility remains that the FSM may not last, as different states decide to go their own way.
 
Note: According to a study conducted by the United Nations World Health Western Pacific Regional office and the London-based International Obesity Task Force, the FSM was recently listed as second in the world in highest percentage of overweight adults.
 
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Basic Information
Location: The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), including the states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, is located in the Western Pacific and consists of several groups of scattered islands stretching almost 3000 kilometers from east to west, yet containing only 702 square kilometers of dry land. To the east is the Marshall Islands, to the north Guam and the Mariana Islands, to the west is Palau, and to the south is Papua New Guinea.
 
Population: 107,000 (2008)
 
Ethnic Groups: among the many groups are Kosraean, Mwoakilloan, Pingalapese, Pohnpeian, Polynesian (Nukuoro and Kapingamorangi), Mortlockese, Lagoon Chuukese, Western Chuukese, Hall Island Chuukese, Satawalese, Woleaian, Ulithian, and Yapese. 
 
Languages: Kosraean, Mwoakilloan, Pohnpeian, Polynesian (Nukuoro & Kapingamorangi), Lagoon Chuukese, Mortlockese, Western Chuukese, Satawalese, Woleaian, Ulithian, and Yapese. 
 
Religions: Islanders are fairly evenly divided between Roman Catholic and various Protestant churches. However, Kosrae is entirely Protestant, and outer island Yap entirely Catholic. 
 

 

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History
The history of Micronesia is a lot more complex than one would think. The islands were settled about 2,700 years ago by Austronesian groups migrating up from Melanesia. The Spanish claimed the islands based on their early forays into the region but never really established themselves anywhere except Pohnpei. The Pohnpieans rebelled and drove the Spaniards out, after which the Spanish pretty much left the islands alone, aside from some minimal activity in Yap, preferring to concentrate on their colony in the Mariana Islands.  Pohnpei and Kosrae became favorite stops for whalers, and beachcomber communities developed in both. One beachcomber named David O’Keefe established himself in Yap and got the Yapese to make copra by offering them rides in his ship to go to Palau to quarry their unique stone money. Most outsiders avoided Chuuk, known for a while as Truk.   After the Spanish-American War the islands were sold by Spain to Germany. The Germans established themselves in all the groups, even Chuuk. During World War I the Japanese, as members of the Allies, occupied the German-held islands in Micronesia. After the war the League of Nations legitimized Japanese control by making the islands a Mandated Territory. After the League criticized Japan for its attacks on China in the 1920s, Japan quit the league and fortified the islands. During WWII United States forces bombed the islands frequently, and after the war took control from the defeated Japanese.

 

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Micronesia's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Micronesia
The islands, along with the Marshalls, Palau, and the Northern Marianas, were put into the trust territory system of the United Nations. However, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands was a special strategic trust territory set up through the UN Security Council, where the United States has a veto. Accused of neglect, in the 1960s, the United States increased funding for the islands and moved the people away from a subsistence lifestyle, making them dependent on cash from the United States. Meanwhile, different parts of the Trust Territory began to split up, cutting their own deals with the United States with regard to future status. Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae were left to stick together as the FSM. In 1979 a “free association” status was created and fully implemented in 1986. The United States still maintains a potential veto over Micronesian foreign affairs, but the islanders get money from the US and are allowed to migrate to the United States. Thousands have. Meanwhile, the free association has evolved into a de facto independence, and Micronesia does have diplomatic relations with several nations.
 
Since being allowed entry into the United States in 1986, with permission to work, thousands of Micronesians have migrated. This has helped relieve the small islands of its burgeoning population which exploded beginning in the 1970s. It also provides cash for the islanders who stay behind in the form of remittances from relatives who have migrated. The Micronesians have established large communities on the US Territory of Guam and the nearby US Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. They have also settled in significant numbers in Hawaii. Census data is limited and hampered by the fact that Palauans, Chamorros, and Marshallese are also considered Micronesians, but recently Micronesians from the FSM have begun moving to the mainland United States and establishing small but close knit communities on the West Coast and in such far-flung states as Missouri and Florida, among others. Within the FSM itself are numbers of Filipinos, Chinese, and Americans who live and work there.       
 
The United States only had relations with the various colonial rulers of the islands but never the islanders themselves. The United States, as were all countries, was kept out of Micronesia by the Japanese in the 1920s and 1930s. After WWII the United States became the administrating authority of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands of which the FSM groups were part. The purpose of Trust Territories, from the United Nations standpoint, was for more advanced countries to take care of places that had been League of Nations mandated territories which meant they had been colonies of the losers of WWI, Germany and Turkey. The administering nation was supposed to prepare the trust territories for self-rule. However, the United States made little effort in that area until the early 1970s, after a huge government bureaucracy, providing many jobs all paid for by the United States, had already been developed. Various future status options were discussed, including independence, statehood, commonwealth, and free association. Within the Trust Territory, the Northern Marianas was the most modernized and was interested in a more permanent tie to the United States. It separated from the other islands to pursue a commonwealth covenant. Palau and the Marshalls liked the idea of free association, but wanted a deal separate from the other island groups. The United States then negotiated with FSM leaders to draft a compact of free association.
 
Free Association was proclaimed as a partial independence. The islanders would get to control their local government; they would be defended by the US military; they would receive money from the United States for operations, capital improvement, and economic development; and they would get the right to migrate to the United States or any US Territory. The United States, in turn, would get “denial rights,” or the right to deny certain countries access and activity in the islands. The finances for the original pact were to last for 15 years, by which time the FSM economy was supposed to be developed enough to support the local governments without US aid. That didn’t happen. In 2004 a new financial agreement was enacted, with about $1.8 billion to be given by the United States over a 20-year period. Much of that will go into a trust fund, and strict controls on spending have been instituted by the United States to try to reduce or even eliminate the massive corruption that has plagued island governments. However, many Micronesians consider the financial controls unduly harsh and punitive.
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Current U.S. Relations with Micronesia
The United States is currently the main supplier of the funds the FSM needs to even exist. New strict controls on spending have reduced overt corruption and prevented money from being misspent. However sometimes the money doesn’t get spent at all, even for the intended project, and gets returned. The goal is to get the FSM financially independent by 2023, when the current funding will end. Whether the interest from the trust fund will be enough to support the FSM in the 2020s and beyond is unclear.
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Where Does the Money Flow
The areas most concerned with Micronesia are the US territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and the state of Hawaii. These are the areas most affected by Micronesian immigration. In Guam, for example, Micronesian immigrants are sending thousands of students to local schools and regularly flood the only public hospital’s emergency room, without insurance, for everything from truly life threatening illnesses to simple colds. The United States promised to compensate territories and states for what has come to be called “compact impact,” or the impact of the compacts of free association on various areas in the Untied States or its territories. However, the United States usually provides money at a much lower figure than Guam, Saipan, or Hawaii request. For their part, these US Territories and Hawaii feel the compact has resulted in unfunded mandates, as the Micronesians access various public services and whichever welfare programs they can qualify for. 
           
In 2007, the United States imported $4 million worth of goods from Micronesia with fish providing 97% of the total. U.S. imports of Micronesian clothing, which used to be mildly significant, all but ceased after 2005. On the other hand, U.S. exports to Micronesia in 2007 totals $37.8 million. The most important exports were trucks, boat parts and rice and other foods. Many US programs are administered in the islands, particularly in education and health. These are, however, all under the watchful eye of the United States.
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Controversies
Mobil Oil and Pohnpei
With regards to the United States, the main controversy is the new tight controls the United States has placed on spending in an attempt to prevent corruption that had been rampant. On Pohnpei, there has also been concern over new fuel contracts signed with Mobil Oil. There is worry over the future adequacy of fuel supply and also some environmental concerns. 
Controversy in Mobil Oil Micronesia Acquisition Plan (by Bill Jaynes, Kaselehlie Press)
 
Staying Togethor
The biggest controversy in the FSM is whether or not it will stay together. Yap, which has the best financial record and seems to always manage to live within its means, has been considering breaking away from the FSM and joining Palau. The Yapese and Palauans have a long history of association and combining might work. It might be beneficial for Yap since it will allow them to leave the FSM and join a more efficient entity in Palau, but how it will benefit Palau is not clear. Pohnpei, which narrowly voted not to join the FSM but was obligated to do so because the other three states voted for it, is considering breaking away and becoming a separate and independent entity. They might stay combined with Kosrae, with whom they have a long history of association and with whom they were combined as one district of the old Trust Territory. That would leave Chuuk to fend for itself. Chuuk has the biggest population and the fewest resources and has the reputation for being the most corrupt. Chuuk feels it doesn’t get a proportional share of revenues considering its large population and therefore can’t make headway on solving its many problems.
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Human Rights
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
Suzanne K. Hale                       25 Aug-2004 to August 1, 2007
Larry Miles Dinger                    January 14, 2002 to August 2, 2004
Diane Watson                                       October 19, 1999 to January 15, 2002
            Watson currently represents California’s 33rd district in the U.S. House of Rpresentatives.
Cheryl A. Martin                      August 1996 to October 1999
March Fong Eu                         May 18, 1994 to July 5, 1996
            Fong Eu had previously served 18 years as California’s State Secretary of State.
Aurelia E. Brazeal                     September 18, 1990 to July 6, 1993
Michael G. Wygant                   October 2, 1987 to May 29, 1990
 
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Micronesia's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Takesy, Asterio

Referring to President Obama’s birthplace of Hawai’i, the new ambassador from Micronesia recently greeted the President as a “fellow Pacific islander,” during a White House ceremony on January 18, 2012, welcoming new ambassadors to Washington, DC. Asterio Takesy is a senior Micronesian diplomat who has previously served as his country’s representative to the U.S. Formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, established by the United Nations and administered by the U.S. beginning in 1947, Micronesia today depends on financial support from the U.S. pursuant to a Compact originally signed in 1986.

 
Takesy was born in Chuuk (formerly Truk) State, Micronesia, on May 25, 1944, just three months after the U.S. Navy destroyed a Japanese military base in Chuuk in Operation Hailstone, an important World War II naval battle. As a result of the Navy’s “island-hopping” strategy, however, the Japanese remained in control until the war’s end in August 1945. In 1963, Takesy graduated from Xavier High School, widely considered the country’s best high school and the alma mater of most of Micronesia’s senior leaders. From 1963 to 1970, Takesy attended the University of Guam and the University of New Mexico, where he studied Marine Biology, Political Science and Public Administration.
 
Takesy began his career as an administrative assistant in the Chuuk District Education Department, followed by stints in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Headquarters Information Office on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, and service as chief clerk in the former Congress of the Micronesian House of Representatives. In 1975 he served as assistant secretary for the Micronesia Constitutional Convention, which led ultimately to Micronesia’s independence in 1979. In the meantime, Takesy was executive director of the Commission on Future Political Association with the U.S.
 
From 1979 to 1982, Takesy served as the Representative of Micronesia to the U.S, in effect becoming Micronesia’s first ambassador to the U.S., although that term was not officially used. Addressing Americans in a 1980 interview with The Washington Post, Takesy explained that “Our constitution is very much like yours...except that more rights are specified in our Bill of Rights.” That same year he argued at the United Nations that Micronesia was not yet ready to accept the independence that the United States wanted to grant in 1981 because more than thirty years of U.S. rule had turned his country into a welfare state without providing an infrastructure for a viable national economy. He noted, '”I am the only one in my area who still knows how to navigate an oceangoing canoe from island to island.”
 
Returning home in 1982, he served as Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs until 1989, when he became Acting Secretary until 1991. Responding in 1985 to the introduction of investment from Japan, he said, “The Japanese went about it the right way. They asked us what we need, what we want. The Americans are always telling us what to do. They say, ‘This is what your problem is, and here's how you must solve it.’”
 
Takesy also found time to represent the Western Namonwitto and Hall Islands of Chuuk State at the Second Micronesia Constitutional Convention in 1990.
 
From 1991 to 1995, Takesy served as Micronesia’s Secretary of Resources and Development, and then as Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 1997. He left that job to work as executive director for the Joint Committee on Compact Economic Negotiations from 1997 to 2000.
 
In January 2003, Takesy left Micronesia to become the executive director of the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa, where he served two three-year terms and returned to Micronesia in January 2009. SPREP, a regional organization established by the governments of the Pacific region to look after its environment, has been particularly vocal in advocating measures to curb global warming, which is a threat to many low-lying Pacific islands. Shortly after his return to Micronesia, he rejoined government service as a Senior Advisor on the Five-year Compact Review.
 
Takesy has served on the Boards of several organizations, including the Micronesian Telecommunications Corporation, the Micronesian Maritime Authority (now the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority) and the National Fisheries Corporation. Takesy is married to Justina Yangilmau of Palau. They have three daughters and four grandchildren.
 
 
 
 

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Micronesia's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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Comments

Bermin F. Weibacher 4 years ago
AHPW'S case has gone up one notch in the legal totem pole. It is now in the US District Court in the CNMI. Contact Bill Jane, editor of Kaselehlie Press (kpress@mail.fm) for more informtion.
Charlie Lachman 4 years ago
Yosiwo - Congratulations on your outstanding carreer, perhaps you remember me? I was a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to PTA while you were a trainee in Ponape. I worked with PTA (or PTB as it was known then) from 1968-1973. I have returned twice to Ponape once in 1978 & again in 2005 but was unable to find time to visit Kusai. My wife & daughter loved our trip and stay at the Village Hotel in 2005. I hope the present difficulties between the Arthurs & Ponape State can be resolved. ...

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U.S. Ambassador to Micronesia

Rosen, Doria
ambassador-image

The Pacific island nation of Micronesia will soon have its eighth U.S. ambassador, a career Foreign Service Officer who will be serving her first ambassadorship. Dorothea-Maria (Doria) Rosen was nominated by President Obama on March 9, 2012, subject to Senate confirmation. This country of tiny, scattered islands in the Western Pacific used to be a territory of the U.S., which has had an embassy there since September 20, 1989.

 
Born in New York City on September 7, 1950, Rosen attended local public schools. She earned an A.B. in Psychology at Vassar College in 1972 and a J.D. at Hofstra University Law School in 1975. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1976 and to the California State Bar in 1977. From 1976 to 1979 she served as an Army Captain on active duty in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps in Heidelberg, Germany, and as an Army Reservist from 1979 to 1981. 
 
Rosen joined the Foreign Service in 1981. Her first two postings were to serve as vice consul at the U.S. embassy in Bucharest, Romania, from 1981 to 1983, and at the consulate in Stuttgart, Germany, from 1983 to 1986. Back in Washington, DC, Rosen served as an analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1986 to 1988. In 1988, she began a string of foreign assignments, serving as deputy chief of the Immigrant Visa Section in Seoul, South Korea, from 1988 to 1989, and as consular officer in Accra, Ghana, from 1989 to 1991. Returning to Germany, Rosen served as political military officer at the embassy in Berlin from 1991 to 1994. She then served as Nonimmigrant Visa chief in Manila, Philippines, from 1994 to 1996, and as Visa Branch chief in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1996 to 1999.
 
Assigned to a stateside job for the first time in more than a decade, Rosen served as director of the Office of Public and Diplomatic Liaison in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 1999 to 2001. She then served three straight postings in Europe: deputy chief of mission in Reykjavik, Iceland, from 2001 to 2004; consul general in Bern, Switzerland, from 2004 to 2008; and deputy principal officer in Frankfurt, Germany, from 2008 to 2011. She then served as the Diplomat-in-Residence for the Midwest region, based out of the University of Illinois at Chicago, from September 2011 to early 2012.
 
Rosen has studied French, Romanian and German. She has three adult children: Michael, Thomas and Katharine.
-Matt Bewig
 
 

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Micronesia

Prahar, Peter
ambassador-image

A former Air Force translator, Peter A. Prahar, is the latest ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), a country of tiny, scattered islands in the Western Pacific. In 1983, the US and FSM governments entered into a status of Free Association, which provides Micronesia with significant financial assistance in exchange for U.S. defense rights in the region.  The FSM islands were part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, established after World War II by the United Nations but administered by the United States beginning in 1947.  The FSM consists of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.  These four out of the original seven Trust Territory districts are together for one reason—the U.S. had no plans for military bases in any of them. President Barack Obama nominated Prahar for the post October 9, 2009, and he was confirmed by the Senate November 20.

 
Prahar’s father, Louis, was a land surveyor and his mother, Ruth, was an attorney and a high school math teacher. Born circa 1951, Prahar grew up in the small Oregon coast town of Bandon and graduated from Bandon High School in 1969. As of 2009, he had not visited his hometown since 1972. 
 
After graduation, Prahar joined the Air Force, which sent him to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, to study Mandarin Chinese, and then to Air Force Intelligence School. Prahar served as an Air Force linguist from 1971 to 1975, with assignments in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Prahar also took classes at the International Christian University in Tokyo, transferring his credits back to the University of Michigan, from which graduated with a B.A. in Political Science.  Prahar ran a Radio Shack store for about 10 years in San Francisco before joining the Foreign Service.
 
A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Prahar’s early postings included tours in the China, Japan, Albania, Ireland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and as desk officer for Rwanda.  He volunteered to work with the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) Mission in Kosovo in 1993. At the time, he told The Washington Post, “"Like a lot of people my age, I got interested in politics through the Vietnam War. I've always been interested in questions of peace and war -- and when the opportunity came to prevent a war from spreading, I jumped at it.” Prahar returned to Kosovo in 1998 to assist in establishing a U.S. observer mission.  
 
He subsequently served as Deputy Director (and then Director) of the Office of Asian, African and European Programs in the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.  Most recently, he served as the Transnational Crime Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  He and his wife, Hong Kong native Amy Kit-ling Choi Prahar, met on their first day at International Christian University in 1975 and married in 1977
 
Prahar speaks Russian, Japanese, French, Albanian, German and both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.
 
Our Man in Micronesia (by Steve McCasland, Bandon Western World)
 
 
 

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