25 Nov 2020

Kiribati puts the accent on its WW2 history

9:47 am on 25 November 2020

The Tourism Authority in Kiribati wants the world to know about the country's Second World War battle sites.

In 1942 the then British protectorate of the Gilbert Islands was occupied by Japan and on November 20th 1943 the United States Marines landed to try and displace them.

WWII eight gun emplacement at Betio on Tarawa

WWII eight gun emplacement at Betio on Tarawa Photo: supplied

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the biggest in the Pacific, and the tourism agency is highlighting its impact on the local population with videos of people talking about their experiences.

The Chief Executive, Petero Manufolau, said there were remnants of the Second World War clearly visible throughout the atolls of Kiribati.

"We feel that it is a very strong part of our history - obviously one that we had hoped had never happened, but it did nonetheless and therefore it is part of our history that we will always remember.

"It has helped shaped who we are today and with the presence of war relics and other remnants from World War Two we hope to build on that and build on a battlefield tourism product," Manufolau said.