Saipan is an island in the Marianas archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean. Its location is at a latitude of 15.25° north and longitude of 145.75° east, about 200 km (120 mi) north of Guam. The island is approximately 20 km (12.5 mi) long and 9 km (5.5 mi) wide.
In World War II, the Battle of Saipan was fought between 15 June 1944 to 9 July 1944, a battle of great strategic significance to both sides. For the Japanese, it was the first breach in their inner defensive perimeter, and its loss caused the fall of the Tojo government. For the U.S., when bomber bases were established, it brought the Japanese home islands into range of heavy bombers.
Saipan is part of the Northern Mariana Islands group, which, politically, is the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). CNMI is politically allied with the United States.