In the 16th century Portuguese traders settled in some of the islands which now comprise Indonesia but were ejected by the British who in turn were ousted by the Dutch in 1595. From 1602 the Netherlands East India Company controlled the area until the dissolution of the Company in 1798. The Netherlands government then ruled the colony from 1816 until 1941 when it was occupied by the Japanese until 1945. On 17 Aug. 1945 nationalist leaders proclaimed an independent republic. On 27 Dec. 1949 the Netherlands conceded unconditional sovereignty.
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