Oceania is a collective name for the islands dispersed on the Pacific Ocean, spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, between Asia and the Americas. It comprises Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
The region has mixed economies ranging from advanced financial markets of Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Hawaii, and New Caledonia, to the developing economies of Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Indonesian New Guinea, and Vanuatu, as well as middle-sized economies of Palau, Tonga, and Fiji.
Between 1512 and 1526, Oceania was first discovered by Europeans, particularly Portuguese explorers through the Tanimbar Islands, Caroline Islands, and the west of Papua New Guinea. In the 18th Century, the British navigator James Cook arrived in the Hawaiian Islands and later on to Tahiti by following the east coast of Australia. During the Second World War, Western Oceania had been the battleground of the conflicts between Japan and the United States-led forces.
Oceania was under the financial and monetary union of the Japanese colonial government. At the time of the Japanese invasion, Oceanian Pound banknotes were issued by the Japanese government to be used during the war. Oceanian pound banknotes were only in denominations of half-shilling, 1-shilling, 10 shillings, and 1 pound.
The currency was for the Japanese-occupied states of the Caroline Islands, Ocean Islands, Marianas Islands, Palau, Guam, Gilbert Islands, Solomon Islands, and the Territory of New Guinea. Because these notes were printed in advance and for circulation in countries of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, they bear the title “The Japanese Government” instead of the name of the country or region they were issued for. Featured on these banknotes are a beach view with palm trees on the obverse and the denomination on the reverse.
After the fall of the Co-Prosperity Sphere in August 1945, the Oceanian pound was abolished and was replaced by the Australian pound or the US dollar, making the series the shortest set.