Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a nation of islands consisting of almost 18,000 islands located in the South East Asian Archipelago. It covers the distance from Sabang in the west to Merauke to east (about 5,000 kilometres [3,100 mi]) and from the island of Miangas in the north to the islands of Rote to south (about 1,000 kilometres [620 mi]). The country respects its diversity with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or "Unity in Diversity". Jakarta, the nation's capital city, is located on island of Java, which is one of the five most populous islands in the nation, along with Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi and New Guinea.
Europeans first started visiting the archipelago in the Sixteenth Century. For example the famous British circumnavigator, Sir Francis Drake arrived in Ternate in the Moluccas Islands in November 1579. Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and British continued to arrive over the next century. Later, these countries demanded more than spices and began colonising the archipelago. The Dutch ruled the area for more than 300 years and, in 1942, the Japanese arrived in Indonesia and ruled for three years. Indonesia declared its independence on 17 August 1945. It is the world's fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority nation, with more than 250 million citizens.