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Guam is an idyllic island south of Japan, one of the myriad Micronesian Islands that dot the Pacific in this area. Guam Island is an unincorporated territory of the United States. It is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands, in the western North Pacific Ocean. It is 30 miles long and a maximum of approximately 8 miles wide; the total area is 209 square miles. Rock remains of houses called Latte Stones have become a signature of Guam and the Marianas Islands. They are dated to 500 AD and indicate that the island was inhabited for many centuries before Europeans arrived in the 16th century.
Guam and the other Mariana Islands were formally claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Spanish Jesuit missionaries arrived in 1668 led by Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores. Japan occupied the islands during the Second World War, but the United States took control of the country in 1944.