The Java Sea (Indonesian: Laut Jawa) is a large (320,000 km²) shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf. It was formed as sea levels rose at the end of the last ice age. The Java Sea lies between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south; Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east. Karimata Strait to its northwest links it to the South China Sea.
Fishing is an important economic activity in the Java Sea. There are over 3,000 species of marine life in the area. A number of national parks exist in the area such as Karimunjawa. The Thousand Islands are located north of Jakarta. The area around the Java Sea is a popular tourist destination. Scuba diving offers a chance to explore and photograph underwater caverns, wrecks, coral, sponges, and other marine life.
The Battle of the Java Sea, during February and March 1942, was one of the costliest naval battles of World War II. The naval forces of the Netherlands, Britain, Australia, and the US were nearly destroyed trying to defend Java from Japanese attack.
On the North. By the Southern limit of the South China Sea [Lucipara Point ( ) thence to Tanjong Nanka, the Southwest extremity of Banka Island, through this island to Tanjong Berikat the Eastern point ( ), on to Tanjong Djemang ( ) in Billiton, along the North coast of this island to Tanjong Boeroeng Mandi ( ) and thence a line to Tanjong Sambar ( ) the Southwest extreme of Borneo], the South coast of Borneo and the Southern limit of Makassar Strait [By a line from the Southwestern extreme of Celebes ( ), through the Southern point of Tana Keke, to the Southern extreme of Laoet ( ) thence up the West coast of that island to Tanjong Kiwi and thence across to Tanjong Petang, Borneo ( ) at the Southern end of Laoet Strait].
On the East. By the Western limit of Flores Sea [A line from Tg Sarokaja ( ) to the Western Paternoster island ( ) thence to the Northeastern Postiljon Island ( ) and to the West point of Laikang Bay, Celebes].
On the South. By the Northern and Northwestern limits of Bali Sea [A line from the Western Paternoster Island to the East point of Sepandjang and thence through this island to the West point of Gedeh Bay on the South coast of Kangean ( ). A line from the West point of Gedeh Bay, Kangean Island, to Tg Sedano, the Northeast extreme of Java and down the East coast to Tg Bantenan, the Southeast extreme of the island], the North and West coasts of Java to Java Hoofd ( ) its Western point, and thence a line to Vlakke Hoek ( ) the Southern extreme of Sumatra.
On the West. The East coast of Sumatra between Vlakke Hoek and Lucipara Point ().
- Epton, Nina. The islands of Indonesia. London, Pitman 1955
- Oosten, F. C. van The Battle of the Java Sea Publisher: London : I. Allen, 1976. ISBN 0-7110-0615-6
- Thomas, David A. Battle of the Java Sea. London: Pan Books, 1971. ISBN 0-330-02608-9
- Touwen, Jeroen (editor) (2001) Shipping and trade in the Java Sea region, 1870-1940 : a collection of statistics on the major Java Sea ports ISBN 90-6718-162-5
- (2008) "Java Sea a study on its economic impacts."