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Truk Underwater Archaeology

By Francis X. Hezel, S.J., and Clark Graham

San Francisco: U.S. National Park Service, 1997. 50 pp.1997 Economics History

(Currently out of print.) The sunken Japanese fleet in Chuuk has become a world famous diving attraction for scuba enthusiasts. The sunken ships, bombed during the US counteroffensive against Japan in 1944, constitute a museum and a valuable asset for the Federated States of Micronesia. This book is an introduction to this museum, as well as to the events that produced the museum and the efforts that have made to preserve it from the depredations of humans and nature. The major part of this monograph describes briefly the Japanese period before the war, the early successes by Japan, and the Allied efforts to retake this part of the Pacific. The air attacks against Chuuk, those carrier-based attacks that sunk the Japanese commercial fleet and the later Allied raids, are all laid out in chronological order, as they are in few other sources.

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Comments (32)

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poiuy(posted on June 08)

How many millions are tied up in this question now? Taxi?

jfalpiy(posted on October 24)

Yokwe Folks! I would like to commend and applaud you for this very lively and educational as well as a very critical discussion regarding a very touch, sensitive and complex issue with frequent shading and subtleties. I must say that I am very fortunate to participate in the dissection of this task, though, only as a spectator, but still fortunate indeed. The task is complex enough for us less learnt so all your inputs have helped shed some light on the different aspects of the land issue. I must ask that we all continue to find all the common settings that could be applicable not only to the OI of Yap but also to all the rest of our islands. I must also ask that if possible when citing certain references, such as article this or subtitle that, it would be clearer for some of us if such references are explained so we would all be able to follow this very educational discussion. However, so as not to bore you all with my educational inadequacies, I will add an OI land issue aspect that I hope is of value enough for your attention. At least for more that 10 years now, there had been numerous attempts by the government to survey all the lands in the OI of Yap for various reasons; however, such attempts never seemed to materialize. Given the history and cultural background of the OI, I can understand why. Land in our Micronesian islands is our main being and we live on the land as an individual, as a family, as a clan, as a community and an island on a foundation based on SHARING AND THE COMMON GOOD OF ALL precedes that of an individual and at times that of a family. It is always said that clan/family members should know by heart each different parcel of land and reef owned and their origins (where they come from) and they will passed from generation to generation with the common community understanding that the blessings of the lands will be shared. Boundaries are invisible but known and if there are disputes regarding such, they will be mediated by the disputing clans’ elders. Finality rests with the chiefs when disputes are not settled or if ‘settled’ disputes were dictated by shrewd and mischievous methods. It seemed very naïve in this very day and age but that is still the prevailing local leadership feeling/position. Surveys will physically separate the community, the clans, the families and the individuals and it will certainly bring about disputes and ill feelings that might not be mediated by the local leadership because it stems in from outside and the legal ramifications rest in the courthouse. It will take on a different path as well as undermining the local structure and local leadership. It will finally destroy the very essence and being of the people, culture and heritage that we all so cherishly want to preserve – SHARING FOR THE COMMON GOOD ALL. QUESTION – What will happen to lands (current sites of government facilities, such as schools, dispensaries, power plants etc) that were not surveyed and would not be in the near future, but needed fair and justifiable compensation? Would the local leadership stance on resisting land survey add more reasons for JEMCO not to compensate the lands equitably? What would be a realistic and appropriate alternate to the present local leadership stance? 1. Accept the land survey? 2. Forget the land compensation? 3. Let the negotiators negotiate on their behave which had been the practice ever since I could remember Please you all, do your thing for I am not well versed in the political/cultural and legal shading of this issue. Kommol tata

chris17(posted on October 20)

Greetings gentlemen: First and foremost, I would like to thank Mr. Tokai for such an educational insight to our OI land problems. As mentioned in the above comments, all intentions done by the original landowners decades ago were done with vision, prestige and principles. If I recalled correctly, that in most of our islands history, there weren't any legal documentations in regards to land and such, but I could be wrong. Most chiefs in those days, spoke within their power and respect. In Yap OI's cases, I still believe in their old traditional custom eventhough, it complicates the hell out of us. And whom in there frame of mind those days would guess that JEMCO will come in with the secondary part of Compact II and demand clear titles to our lands? This is where I had to tip my hat off to you JJS for sticking to your believe! Why should you convey your land title to the government? It is rightfully yours. There isn't a law that cannot be amend or work around? We should boot the Compact II negotators for their failure to recognize important issues like these. It just proves the point that we should each be represented during final negotations like this, since two or more heads are much better than one bullsh.....! Last, thanks to friend Taxi for your tip on Chuuks forged land documents. I've realized that and it is just another additional check-points to my blood pressure. My offer still stands and the land is definitely pure and genuine. With that, I will let you and the others investigate into that matter. Again, thank you for being part of your discussion on such important issues. Chris

JJS(posted on October 19)

Tokai: I agree with you about having someone from Yap in the compact management office to fare things out. That is one of our problem. We created the office of OCM without any vision and the measures necessary to effectuate a meaningful relations between the office and the four states. It has been a known practice of our leaders to wait until a problem occurs before any action is taken. Most of things in our nation happens by reaction. We need more proactive leaders who delivers. I respect my friends in the OCM office but, if given the chance, I will tell them to find a day job. Some of our educated ones are in OCM. For what, I asked? Why not make them head of economic affairs or some other department instead of keeping these morons in office. Let us be honest with each other. Why Akilino Susaia? What background education does he have to head the department of economics? Wouldn't it be better to have Jesse Giltamag who has a Master Degree instead of a high school graduate like Susaia? How about Evelyn Adolf, wouldn't it be nice to have head one of the departments too? I rest my case.


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