Visited in 1616 by the Dutch explorer Willem Schouten, the group became a German protectorate in 1884. Seized by Australian forces in World War I, the islands were mandated to Australia by the League of Nations in 1920. Japan operated several naval and air bases in the islands during World War II. In 1947, Australia received trusteeship over the group from the United Nations, which were administered as part of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. The archipelago was included in Papua New Guinea when it established as a self-governing country in 1973.
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