Saipan, USS Saipan
, Battle of Saipan
, Saipan Sucks
, USS Saipan (CVL-48)
, Image:Uss saipan carrier.jpg
, Image:Uss saipan insignia.jpg
, USS Saipan (LHA-2)
, or island
and site of the capital
of the United States Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands
, a chain of 15 tropical islands in the western Pacific Ocean
(15°10’51”N, 145°45’21”E) with a total area of 115.39 km² (44.55 sq mi)
. The 2000 census
population was 62,392 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2001/cb01cn173.html
Located at latitude of 15.25° north and longitude of 145.75° east, about 200 km (120 mi) north of Guam
, Saipan is about 20 km (12.5 mi) long and 9 km (5.5 mi) wide. It is a popular tourist destination in the Pacific.
The western side of the island has beaches and an offshore coral reef
which creates a large lagoon. The eastern shore is composed primarily of rugged rocky cliffs with a reef which fringes the shore. Its highest point is the extinct volcano Mount Tapochau
at 474 m (1,554 ft).
Besides English, Chamorro
(as referred to as Tsamoru) is spoken as a trade language by approximately 19 percent of the inhabitants.
Saipan was first inhabited by ancient Chamoru/Chamorro navigators who also discovered the neighboring islands of Guam, Rota and Tinian. This dates back to 2000 B.C. Spain
originally claimed Saipan as part of its claim to the Marianas
. Around 1815
, many Carolinians from atoll
s near Chuuk
(formerly Truk) settled in Saipan. Saipan was under German
rule from 1899
, when the Japan
ese took over the island under a League of Nations
mandate. The Japanese developed both fishing
industries, and in the 1930s garrison
ed Saipan heavily, with nearly 30,000 troops on the island by 1941
During World War II
, the U.S. Marines
landed on June 15
, on the beaches of the southwestern side of the island, and spent more than three weeks in hard fighting to secure it in the battle of Saipan
. This engagement was dramatized in John Woo
is the largest village and the center of the tourism industry on the island.
The CNMI attained U.S. Flag Territory status in November, 1986, and US Citizenship was conferred on those born in the Northern Marianas. Despite its status as a U.S. Commonwealth, Saipan is exempt from some federal law
s, including key labor
laws. As a result, dozens of garment factories have been opened using thousands of alien workers. By November 2006 only ten remained. The treatment and working conditions have been the subject of controversy (see below
). These supply the U.S. market with low cost garments exempt from US tariffs. Goods manufactured in U.S. Commonwealths and Territories, including Saipan, may be labeled "Made in the USA".
The current governor of the CNMI is Benigno Fitial, who is the successor of Juan Babauta.
Agriculture and flora right|thumb|250px|Thai hot peppers or "Tinian peppers" growing wild.
Undeveloped areas on the island are covered with sword-grass meadows and dense, dry-forest jungle. Coconuts, papayas, and Thai hot peppers--locally called "Tinian peppers" or "boonie peppers"--are among the fruits that grow wild. Mangos, taro root, and bananas are a few of the foods cultivated by local families and farmers.
Music video industry
Many Chinese, Japanese, and Korean celebrities and musical artists visit the island quite frequently to produce music videos, advertisements or drama series.
musical duo from Hong Kong
recently visited the islands to record their 2006 album, Ho Hoo Tan. The island was also the scene of their album music videos.
(also known as Dong Bang Shin Ki in Korea), ToHoShinKi in Japan, and TVXQ in China, shot their 7th Japanese single photoshoot (entitled Sky) in Saipan as well as their Sky music video.
Controversy: Exemptions from federal regulation
Although Saipan is part of the United States
, several GOP
members of Congress have fought hard to keep regulation out of Saipan, preserving it as a more pure form of capitalism, without labor regulation. In 1998, Republican Congressman Tom DeLay
called the CNMI a "perfect Petri dish of capitalism." And two years later, in addressing the Governor of the Islands, DeLay said:
"You are a shining light for what is happening in the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we’re trying to do in America in leading the world in the free-market system."
However, the lack of labor regulation is not without controversy. The inapplicability of Federal labor regulations in Saipan resulted in some labor practices which were reported in the March 18
episode of ABC News
, accounts of forced abortions and of enslaving women and forcing them into prostitution. Federal and local officials have prosecuted some crimes in the industry, but additional protections have not been established.
In 2005-2006, the issue of immigration and labor practices in Saipan (particularly with Tan Holdings Corporation
) was brought up during the American political scandals
of Congressman Tom DeLay
and lobbyist Jack Abramoff
In January 1999, a coalition of U.S.-based pressure groups and labor union
s began a class action lawsuit
on behalf of around 30,000 garment-industry workers who had been mistreated in such factories, being submitted to what was, in effect, indentured servitude
. Retailers J. Crew
Inc. were among the first to settle. In April 2003
, a settlement worth $20 million was reached with 27 garment manufacturers and 27 leading retailers, including Brooks Brothers
, Donna Karan
, The Gap
, Tommy Hilfiger
, and Polo Ralph Lauren
. The firm of Levi Strauss & Co.
refused to settle, however; in January 2004, the case against the company was dismissed. Most of the money went to the lawyers who charged exorbitant fees, some of which were struck out, even chastised by Federal Judge Alex Munson. The lawyers took so much of the funds that each worker received less than $200.
The clothing manufactured in Saipan is often labeled "Made in the U.S.A.
", but much of it is produced by foreign contract workers at wages as low as $3.05 per hour, plus food and housing (sometimes), with no benefits or rights. The law requires that the plane ticket and visa-handling fee be paid by the employer, but employers often illegally demand reimbursement for them. Garment workers in Saipan often live and work in fenced-in compounds (some residents also have fenced-in compounds), and they are often not permitted to leave the fenced-in areas without permission from the manager and without an escort, although against the law and previously prosecuted, to limited effect.
Much of the labor force in Saipan is foreign contract labor from China, the Philippines, and Thailand, as the local labor force is not large enough to staff all of the jobs.
Despite an annual rainfall of 80-100", Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC), the local government-run water utility company on Saipan, is unable to deliver 24-hour-a-day potable water to its customers in certain areas. As a result, several large hotels use reverse osmosis
to produce fresh water for their customers. In addition, most homes and small businesses augment the sporadic and sometimes brackish water provided by CUC with rainwater collected and stored in cisterns.
Saipan also has a place in many Irish people's minds, after "The Saipan Incident
" which took place before the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
An anonymous website, Saipansucks.com
makes allegations and cases of corruption
, worker exploitation
, employment discrimination
, and mismanagement of the CNMI tourism
industry by local CNMI officials.
[Cite web|url=http://www.pacificislands.cc/news/2006/11/16/local-group-to-counter-critical-web-site|title=Local Group To Counter Critical Web Site|accessdate=2006-11-23|publisher=Pacific Magazine|year=May 21, 2006|author=Marianas ] [Cite web|url=http://saipansucks.com/about.htm|title=About Saipan|accessdate=2006-11-26|publisher=SaipanSucks.com|year=2002|work=Saipan ]
People in Saipan
/ Overseas Filipino Workers
*Other Pacific Islanders
* Northern Mariana Islands
* Dive Sites of Saipan
* Saipan International Airport
* b=50|l=en|t=4001|zf=0.0|ms=sel_00dec|dw=0.9528487917191559|dh=0.6838460131961157|dt=gov.census.aff.domain.map.EnglishMapExtent|if=gif|cx=-67.48042614595042|cy=18.385966173167105|zl=6|pz=6|bo=318:317:316:314:313:323:319|bl=362:393:358:357:356:355:354|ft=350:349:335:389:388:332:331|fl=381:403:204:380:369:379:368|g=04000US72&-PANEL_ID=p_dt_geo_map&-_lang=en&-geo_id=05000US69110&-CONTEXT=dt&-format=&-search_results=ALL&-ds_name=DEC_2000_IAMP Saipan Municipality, United States Census Bureau
ReferencesCategory:Northern Mariana IslandsCategory:Capitals in Oceaniade:Saipanes:Saipáneu:Saipanfr:Saipannl:Saipanja:サイパン島pl:Saipanfi:Saipansv:Saipanzh:塞班岛