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Papua New Guinea (PNG) includes the eastern half of New Guinea plus the offshore islands of New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville and offshore islands. To the east is the Solomon Islands. To the west is Papua Province (Provinsi Papua, Irian Jaya) in Indonesia. To the south borders the Coral Sea and beyond Australia. Includes the Bismarck Sea and portions of the Solomon Sea and Coral Sea. Between 1884–1914 the northern portion was Deutsch Neu Guinea (German New Guinea) until September 1914. Prewar and during the Pacific War comprised of the Territory of Papua and Territory of New Guinea. On September 16, 1975 gained independence from Australia as the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. The national capital and largest city is Port Moresby.
At the start of the Pacific War, the Japanese occupied the northern half of New Guinea. During World War II an estimated 1,000,000 Americans, 75,000 Japanese and 50,000 Australians were stationed in or transited the New Guinea area. The Papuan people were instrumental in the war, serving on the side of both the Japanese and Allies as guides, laborers, carriers, spotters and soldiers.
On September 16, 1975 gained independence from Australia as the Independent State of Papua New Guinea with the Territory of Papua and Territory of New Guinea became Papua New Guinea (PNG). Today, the country is divided into twenty-two provinces plus the National Capital District (NCD).
Papua New Guinea Mainland
National Capital District (NCD) includes the national capital and largest city of Port Moresby and vicinity.
Central Province located on the southern coast of New Guinea.
Gulf Province located on the southern coast of New Guinea bordering the Gulf of Papua.
Western Province (Fly) located on the southern coast of New Guinea includes the Fly River.
Milne Bay Province located at the eastern tip of New Guinea includes Milne Bay and offshore islands.
Oro Province (Northern) located on the north coast includes Dobodura, Buna, Gona and Sanananda.
Morobe Province located on the north coast of New Guinea including Lae, Finschafen, Tsili-Tsili and Wau.
Madang Province located on the north coast of New Guinea including Madang, Saidor and Gusap.
East Sepik Province located on the north coast, Wewak and the Sepik River.
West Sepik Province (Sandaun) located on the north coast borders Papua Province (Irian Jaya) in Indonesia.
Papua New Guinea Highlands
Eastern Highlands Province located in the Highlands includes Goroka.
Chimbu Province (Simbu) located in the Highlands includes Kundiawa and Mount Wilhelm.
Western Highlands Province located in the Highlands includes Mount Hagen.
Enga Province (EP) located in the Highlands includes Wabag.
Southern Highlands Province (SHP) located in the Highlands includes Wabag.
Hela Province located in the Highlands previously part of Southern Highlands Province established 2012.
Jiwaka Province located in the Highlands previously part of Western Highlands Province.
Papua New Guinea Islands (Islands Region)
East New Britain Province located on New Britain Island includes Rabaul.
West New Britain Province located on New Britain Island includes Cape Gloucester.
New Ireland Province located on New Ireland Island and offshore islands.
Manus Province includes the Admiralty Islands Group including Manus and Los Negros.
Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Bougainville Province) includes Bougainville in the Northern Solomons.
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