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Saipan is the largest island and capital of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The island was colonized by Spain and then lost to the U.S. in the settlement of the Spanish-American War. The U.S. promptly sold it to Imperial Germany in 1899, which ruled it until the Japanese recived it as their spoils as an ally in the First World War. Germany was stripped of its colonies in the Treaty of Versailles. The U.S. took possession after Japan was stripped of its colonies after the Second World War.

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