Nauru, officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country and microstate in Oceania, in the Central Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 km to the east. It further lies northwest of Tuvalu, 1,300 km northeast of the Solomon Islands, east-northeast of Papua New Guinea, southeast of the Federated States of Micronesia and south of the Marshall Islands. With only a 21 km² area, Nauru is the third-smallest country in the world behind Vatican City and Monaco, making it the smallest republic. Its population of about 10,000 is the world’s second smallest, after Vatican City.
Settled by people from Micronesia and Polynesia circa 1000 BCE, Nauru was annexed and claimed as a colony by the German Empire in the late 19th century. After World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations mandate administered by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. During World War II, Nauru was occupied by Japanese troops, and was bypassed by the Allied advance across the Pacific. After the war ended, the country entered into United Nations trusteeship.