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Fiji /ˈfiːdʒiː/  ( listen) (Fijian: Matanitu ko Viti; Fiji Hindi: फ़िजी), officially the Republic of the Fiji Islands (Fijian: Matanitu Tu-Vaka-i-koya ko Viti; Fiji Hindi: फ़िजी द्वीप समूह गणराज्य[6] fiji dvip samooh ganarajya), is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 2000 km northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its more immediate neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, France's New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast and Tuvalu to the north. Fiji has had inhabitants since the second millennium BC. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch and the British explored Fiji.[7] Fiji was a British colony up until 1970; British occupation lasted almost a century.[8] Because of the abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources, Fiji is one of the most developed economies in the Pacific island realm. Today, the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports.[9] The country's currency is the Fijian dollar.

The majority of Fiji's islands were formed through volcanic activity started around 150 million years ago. Today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveun.[10] Fiji comprises an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of ca. 18,300 km2. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of almost 850,000. The former contains Suva, the capital and largest city. Most of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centers. Viti Levu's interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain.[11]

Fiji has a local government system where city and town councils fall under the general supervision of the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development.[12] President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau became Fiji's president, after a high court ruled that the military leadership was unlawfully appointed after a 2006 coup.[13] During World War II, the United Kingdom allowed for many thousands of Fijians to volunteer to aid in Allies' efforts via their attachment to the New Zealand and Australian army units. The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), comprising of land and naval units defend and protect Fiji.

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