The Republic of the Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia comprising 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean.
The first Europeans to visit the islands were the Spanish in 1521. Apart from a brief two year occupation by the British Empire from 1762 to 1764, it remained a Spanish colony until 1898, when it became an American territory following the Spanish-American War. In 1935, Manuel Quezon became the first President of the Republic of the Philippines, but this form of independence was canceled out during World War II, when the archipelago was occupied by Japan. The Japanese established an unpopular republic, which dissolved upon Japan's surrender in 1945. In 1946, the Philippines became completely independent from the United States.
The Philippines became an American colony after the United States defeated Spain in 1898. The Empire of Japan conquered the Philippines at roughly the same time they conqueredHawaii. Indeed, the occupation of Hawaii was done with the hope of buying Japan time to shore up its possessions further west, including the Philippines.
The Philippines were part of the Spanish Empire in the 19th century. At the start of the 20th century, they were conquered and annexed by Japan during the Hispano-Japanese War along with Guam. The capital Manila had an excellent harbor, serving as a base for the Japanese fleet. In neither the Great War nor the Second Great War was there any serious challenge to Japanese possession of the Philippines, as no enemy nation could penetrate the Pacific Ocean far enough, whether from the east or from the south, to reach that close to the Home Islands.
By 1944, after having the run of the Pacific for nearly two years, Japan finally overstretched itself, and the U.S. began retaking its Pacific holdings. The Philippines were a long way off, however.
The Philippines were an American territory conquered by Japan during World War II right before the arrival of the Conquest Fleet. Not wanting to destroy the common front against the Race, the United States allowed Japan to keep the Philippines after the war, despite the fact that the US was clearly the stronger power and in possession of the atomic bomb, which Japan did not yet have.