Solomon Islands, a developing nation comprising an archipelago of 922 islands, is a sovereign state in Oceania and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The archipelago is made up of six large islands and many other smaller islands and atolls. The total land area is 28,369 square kilometres (Stanley, 1993). A Spanish navigator, Alvaro de Mendaña, was the first European to arrive in the islands, in 1568, and he christened them Islas Salomon. In 1893, the United Kingdom established a protectorate over the islands. Fierce fighting between the Americans and the Japanese took place here during the Second WorldWar. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and two years later Solomon Islands became an independent constitutional monarchy.