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Java

21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Jasmine to K

Java, island in southeastern Asia, part of the Republic of Indonesia, about 600 mi by 120 mi and bounded on the south and southwest by the Indian Ocean. Java accommodates nearly two-thirds of the population of Indonesia, together with the capital, Djakarta. Other important cities include Bandung, Surabaja, and Medan.

Java is traversed from east to west by a chain of volcanic mountains, the highest of which is Mt. Semeru (12,060 ft/3,676 m). The fertile tropical plain along the northern coast is drained by the Solo and Brantas rivers, and rainfall is heavy, for Java lies just south of the equator.

The Javanese are mainly farmers (many are smallholders), producing rubber, coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, and cichona bark (from which quinine is derived) for export. Small-scale manufacture of consumer goods was encouraged by the former Dutch administration and has been further developed by the present Indonesian government. For centuries handicrafts have been important to the economy, and Java is noted for its artistic silverwork and batik textiles. By far the most important of Java's mineral resources, oil, is found in the northeastern part of the island and is well exploited. Other mineral deposits include gold, phosphate, and manganese.

See also: Indonesia.

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