Morotai Island Regency

Morotai Island Regency
Morotai Island Regency
Kabupaten Pulau Morotai
—  Regency  —
Location of Morotai Island Regency in Indonesia
Country  Indonesia
Province North Maluku
Island Morotai
Capital Daruba
Incorporated 26 November 2008[1]
 - Total 1,800 km2 (695 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 - Total 54,876
Time zone WIT (UTC+9)

Morotai Island Regency (Indonesian: Kabupaten Pulau Morotai) is a regency of North Maluku province, Indonesia, located on Morotai Island. The population was 54,876 in 2007.



During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Morotai was generally within the sphere of influence of the powerful sultanate on the island of Ternate. It was the core of a larger region, called Moro, that included the island and the coastline of Halmahera closest to Morotai to the south.

In the mid-sixteenth century, the island was also the site of a Portuguese Jesuit mission. The Muslim states on Ternate and Halmahera resented the outpost for its proselytising activities, and managed to drive the mission from the island in 1571, as a part of a larger Portuguese retreat in the region. In the seventeenth century, Ternate further exerted its power over Morotai by repeatedly forcing major parts of the population to move off the island. Early in the century most of the population was moved to Dodinga, a small town in a strategic spot on Halmahera's west coast. Later, in 1627 and 1628, Sultan Hamzah of Ternate had much of the Christian population of the island moved to Malayu, on Ternate, where they could be more easily controlled.

World War II

The island was captured by the Japanese in early 1942. Morotai's southern plain was taken by American forces in September 1944 during the Battle of Morotai, and used as a staging point for the Allied invasion of the Philippines in early 1945, and of Borneo in May and June of that year. Japanese soldier Teruo Nakamura was discovered in the Morotai jungle in 1974, as one of the WWII Japanese soldiers who held out subsequent to the Japanese military's surrender.


Morotai is a rugged, forested island lying to the north of Halmahera. It has an area of some 1,800 square kilometres (690 sq mi), stetching 80 kilometres (50 mi) north-south and no more than 42 kilometres (26 mi) wide. The regency's largest town is Daruba, on the islands south coast. Almost all of Morotai's numerous villages are coastal settlements; a paved road linking those on the east coast starts from Daruba and will eventually reach Berebere, the principal town on Morotai's east coast, 68 kilometres (42 mi) from Daruba.


The island is heavily wooded and produces timber and resin. In October 2010, the Indonesia government has requested assistance of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to help exploiting this island.[2]

Morotai Aerodrome

The provincial government make an effort to turn Pitu airport into an international aerodrome to boost tourists.[3] 'Pitu' means seven due to they have seven lanes of take off and landing built in WWII.


  • Andaya, Leonard (1993). The world of Maluku: eastern Indonesia in the early modern period. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Villiers, John (1988). Las Yslas de Esperar en Dios: The Jesuit Mission in Moro 1546-1571. Modern Asian Studies 22(3):593-606.
  1. ^ Law Number 53 of the Year 2008 about the Formation of Morotai Island Regency in North Maluku Province (Indonesian: Undang-Undang Nomor 53 Tahun 53 tentang Pembentukan Kabupaten Pulau Morotai di Provinsi Maluku Utara)
  2. ^
  3. ^

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