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Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a nation of islands consisting of more than 18,000 islands located in the South East Asian Archipelago, Jakarta is the capital. It is the world's largest archipelagic nation. It is bordered by the nations of Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste (East Timor), and Malaysia. Indonesia is home to more than 200 million people, and thus is the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world and the fourth most populous overall.
The area now comprising the archipelago of Indonesia, specifically Java, was inhabited by Homo erectus - the Java Man - approximately 500,000 years ago, while the island of Flores was home to a newly discovered species of hominid, Homo floresiensis. The region was an important trade route to China, thriving in trade of spices. Regional Hindu kingdoms expanded religious and cultural influences of Hinduism as well as Buddhism, and in the middle ages the islands came under the influence of Islam. The region was colonized by the Netherlands as the Dutch East Indies. The people across many islands rebelled in the early 20th century against Dutch control. Following a brief occupation by Imperial Japan during World War II, nationalists declared independence in 1945, and a united and independent Indonesia was recognized in 1949.