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 were forced laborers during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in World War II. The U.S. Library of Congress estimates that in Javamarker, between four and 10 million romusha  were forced to work by the Japanese military. About 270,000 of these Javanese laborers were sent to other Japanese-held areas in South East Asia. Only 52,000 were repatriated to Java, meaning that there was a death rate of 80%.

The Japanese military made very extensive use of such forced labor during the construction of the Burma-Thailand Railwaymarker during 1942-43. The death rate among romusha, from atrocities, starvation-diet and disease, significantly outstripped the death rate among Allied prisoners of war. About half the forced laborers engaged on the railroad construction died.


  1. Library of Congress, 1992, "Indonesia: World War II and the Struggle For Independence, 1942-50; The Japanese Occupation, 1942-45" Access date: February 9, 2007.

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