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 conquered the area and ruled 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 an independent republic was proclaimed by Dr Sukarno and Dr Hatta, the nationalist leaders. The republic was not, however, recognized by the Netherlands with whom negotiations and fighting continued until 1949. On 27 Dec. 1949 complete and unconditional sovereignty was transferred to the Republic of the United States of Indonesia.
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