Pathein (pətēnˈ, –tānˈ) [key] or Bassein bəsēnˈ, –sānˈ, town (1983 pop. 144,092), capital of Ayeyarwady div., S Myanmar, on the Pathein River. Lying at the western edge of the Ayeyarwady delta, Pathein is accessible to large vessels; it is also the terminus of a branch of the main railroad line. The town is a rice-milling and export center, known for its umbrella-painting industry. Teak and bamboo are also handled. The British established a fort at Pathein in 1852. It was occupied by the Japanese during World War II.