The first settlement on Palau probably took place some 2,500 years ago by the Indonesian archipelago. After the Spaniards visited the islands in 1543, Palau came under Spanish control. The formal annexation was made in 1886.
Germany bought the islands in 1899, and then they, together with the Marshall Islands, were known as German Micronesia. In 1914 occupied Japan territory and administered it as a mandate under the League of Nations after the First World War. US forces conquered Palau in 1944, and Japanese who had settled on the islands were expelled.
Islands was in 1947 a trust territory under UN, managed by the United States. In 1982, an agreement was negotiated to give Palau independence, but still close ties with the United States. The agreement was submitted to the referendum several times, but due to strong opposition against part of the agreement that gave the US the right to storage and transport of nuclear weapons, it was not achieved 3 / 4 majority as the constitution required. After the constitutional amendment, the agreement was passed in 1993, with a simple majority in the number eight referendum. In 1994, the independence agreement was put into effect, and Palau joined the UN.
Palau’s foreign policy is strongly influenced by the Compact of Free Association agreement with the United States. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Palau. The agreement states that the United States will take care of Palau’s defense, and that the Americans, in return, should be able to establish military bases on Palau. However, the United States has promised not to use this right in peacetime. Prior to the Iraq War of 2003, the United States received an offer from Palau to establish an airbase without this being realized.
In addition to the US, relations with Taiwan and Japan are important. After establishing diplomatic relations with the two in the year 2000, they have contributed with large investments and substantial financial assistance to Palau.