Trust Territory Period (1947-1978)
The Northern Mariana Islands were not a permanent legal possession of Japan at the time of the war as it had only been entrusted to Japan under a mandate by a group of countries through their organization – the League of Nations.
Therefore, the United States could not strip territory from defeated Japan at the conclusion of the hostilities since the islands were never recognized as permanent legal possession of Japan in the first place. On July 1947 the area was recognized as a Trust Territory by the United Nations.
The United States Navy, and later the Department of Interior, became the administrator under a Trusteeship Agreement with the United Nations Organization, the successor to the League of Nations. In 1952, upon signing the Treaty of Peace in San Francisco, Japan legally gave up all claims in the mandated islands formerly provided by the League of Nations and acknowledged the United Nations Agreement establishing the Trust Territory Of The Pacific Islands with the United States as the administering authority.
The reconstruction of the economy of Saipan after the war was long in occurring with the result that the area was the last of the former battlefields of World war Two to recover from the devastation. This process did not really start until around 1978 some 33 years after the termination of World War two.
The CNMI Guide would like to thank Mr. William H. Stewart for providing all the information used in these pages.