During World War II the colony headquarters were moved there from Banaba (formerly Ocean Island). Tarawa was occupied by the Japanese (1941–43) and fell to U.S. marines after a bloody battle. Since the early 1990s the southern part of the capital, particularly Betio, has become increasingly overcrowded, leading the government to resettle residents on less crowded islands.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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