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Saipan is the largest island in the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Its population in 2020 was 43,385 people, a decline of 10% from 2010. In World War II, the Battle of Saipan was fought between 15 June 1944 to 9 July 1944, a battle of great strategic significance to both sides. For the Japanese, it was the first breach in their inner defensive perimeter, and its loss caused the fall of the Tojo government. For the U.S, when bomber bases were established, it brought the Japanese home islands into range of heavy bombers.

Saipan belongs to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI), which is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. The island is located at a latitude of 15.25° north and longitude of 145.75° east, about 200 km (120 mi) north of Guam. The island is approximately 20 km (12.5 mi) long and 9 km (5.5 mi) wide.