Pohnpei Liberation Day in Micronesia Date in the current year: September 11, 2019

Pohnpei Liberation Day in Micronesia Pohnpei Liberation Day is an official holiday in the Micronesian state of Pohnpei. It commemorates the liberation of Pohnpei from Japanese occupation on September 11, 1945. Similar holidays are celebrated in the states of Kosrae (September 8) and Chuuk (September 23).

The Federated States of Micronesia is a small island country located on the Caroline Islands, an archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean it shares with Palau. The Carolines were discovered by Portuguese and Spanish explorers in the 1520s and were claimed by Spain. In 1899, Spain sold the archipelago to Germany.

Japan invaded and occupied the Carolines during World War I. After Germany’s defeat in the war, the League of Nations granted Japan a mandate over the Caroline Islands. During World War II, Japan set up a large, heavily fortified base at Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon, using it as the main base in the South Pacific theater.

In February 1944, US Navy conducted a massive attack on Truk Lagoon, forcing the Japanese Navy to relocate first to Palau and then to Indonesia. On September 2, 1945, Imperial Japan surrendered, but it took some time to formally liberate all the occupied territories. The island of Pohnpei, for example, was liberated on September 11. US Navy accepted the surrender of Japanese forces on the island and raised the American flag, ending the decades-long Japanese occupation.

Pohnpei Liberation Day is usually marked with a friendly sports competition between the state’s municipalities. Athletes compete in track and field, fastpitch softball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, table tennis, lawn tennis, boxing, freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, swimming.

Other holiday events and activities include a flag raising ceremony, colorful parades, speeches, and more. They are held on the main island, but participants and spectators come from all inhabited islands of Pohnpei State. Since the Federated States of Micronesia and Japan have had friendly diplomatic relations for several decades, the festivities have even been attended by Japanese ambassador.

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Category

Anniversaries and Memorial Days

Country

Micronesia

Tags

Pohnpei Liberation Day in Micronesia, holidays in Micronesia, regional holidays, official holidays