Samoa, independent island nation in the southern Pacific Ocean, located about 2,900 km (about 1,800 mi) northeast of New Zealand. It occupies the large western portion of the 480-km (300-mi) long Samoan archipelago that is divided at longitude 171° west; the Samoan islands east of this line form the United States territory of American Samoa. Known for many years as Western Samoa, the country changed its official name to Samoa in 1997. From the end of World War II in 1945 to its independence in 1962, Western Samoa was a United Nations trust territory administered by New Zealand. Apia is the country's capital, largest town, and commercial center.
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