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The Java® Language Specification, Java SE 7 Edition, Fourth Edition by Alex Buckley, Gilad Bracha, Guy Steele, Bill Joy, James Gosling

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12.4. Initialization of Classes and Interfaces

Initialization of a class consists of executing its static initializers and the initializers for static fields (class variables) declared in the class.

Initialization of an interface consists of executing the initializers for fields (constants) declared in the interface.

Before a class is initialized, its direct superclass must be initialized, but interfaces implemented by the class are not initialized. Similarly, the superinterfaces of an interface are not initialized before the interface is initialized.

12.4.1. When Initialization Occurs

A class or interface type T will be initialized immediately before the first occurrence of any one of the following:

T is a class and an instance of T is created. ...

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