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Nauru is a republic in the Pacific Ocean, 300 kilometres west of Banaba Island in Kiribati, within Micronesia. The oval-shaped coral island is rich in phosphate and was a major exporter of the product until 2011, when its reserves were no longer economically viable to be extracted. Nauru was settled by Micronesian and Polynesian peoples more than 3000 years ago. British captain John Fearn was the first European to visit the island in 1798, naming it Pleasant Island, and whaling ships and traders later used the island to replenish water and food supplies. In 1886, Germany annexed the island, renaming it Nawodo and administering it as part of the German New Guinea Protectorate. Prospector Albert Ellis discovered phosphate in 1900 and the Pacific Phosphate Company was established to exploit the reserves. The island surrendered to Australian forces in 1914, and following the end of the First World War was administered as a mandated territory from 1920, approved by the League of Nations. Japanese soldiers occupied Nauru during the Second World War (25 August 1942 - 13 September 1945). In 1947, the island was administered by a United Nations trusteeship (Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom) until 1966, when Nauru became self-governing and in 1968 an independent republic was declared. The seat of government is situated in Yaren. Estimated population of Nauru in 2011 was 9,378.