Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of a large number of islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). The country's capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. Solomon Islands should not be confused with the Solomon Islands archipelago, which is a collection of Melanesian islands that includes Solomon Islands and Bougainville Island.
The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón. By 1893, the United Kingdom had established a protectorate over the territory. During the Second World War, the Solomon Islands campaign (1942–1945) saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal.