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The Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915; they were captured by the Japanese in the Pacific War in 1941. The islands of Makin and Tarawa were the sites of major US amphibious victories over entrenched Japanese garrisons in 1943. The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati.


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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 137
19 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 4
1,524 to 2,437 m 4 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 15
914 to 1,523 m 10
Under 914 m 5 (2012)

Roadways World Ranking: 189
Total 670 km (2000)

Waterways World Ranking: 108
5 km (small network of canals in Line Islands) (2012)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 59
Total 77
By type
Bulk carrier 7, cargo 35, chemical tanker 6, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 12, refrigerated cargo 15
Foreign-owned
43 (China 26, Hong Kong 2, Russia 1, Singapore 9, South Korea 1, Taiwan 2, Vietnam 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Betio (Tarawa Atoll), Canton Island, English Harbor


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  Kiribati (South Tarawa):


  GPS points from Kiribati (South Tarawa)

Abariringa Point Kiribati (general)

Tebanga Kiribati (general)

Tapiang Kiribati (general)

Anariki Kiribati (general)

South West Anchorage Gilbert Islands

Tarawa Kiribati (general)

Minneapolis Ridge Kiribati (general)

Maki Meang Island Kiribati (general)




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