Fiji is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean, located at about 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km; 1,300 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island. The formation Fiji's islands were due to volcanic activity which started 150 million years ago. Even now, some amount of geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. A total area of 18,300 square kilometers has been inhabited since the second millennium BC, with 87% of its population being contributed by two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The largest city and capital is Suva.
Fiji was a British colony until 1970, owing to the exploration of the Dutch and the British in the 17th and 18th centuries. A majority of its foreign exchange earnings are contributed by the tourism industry and sugar exports, and their currency is called the Fijian dollar. During World War II, the United Kingdom allowed several Fijians help in the Allies' efforts as they were part of the New Zealand and Australian army units. The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) is made up of land and naval units.