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Summary form only given. Within the trend of object-based distributed computing, we present the design and implementation of a numerical simulation for electromagnetic waves propagation. A sequential Java design and implementation is first presented. Further, a distributed and parallel version is derived from the first, using an active object pattern. In addition, benchmarks are presented on this nonembarrassingly parallel application. A first contribution resides in the sequential object-oriented design that proved to be very modular and extensible; the classes and abstractions are designed to allow both element and volume type methods, furthermore, valid on structured, unstructured, or hybrid meshes. Compared to a Fortran version, the performance of this highly modular version proved to be in the same range. It is also shown how smoothly the sequential version can be distributed, keeping the same structuring and object abstractions, allowing to deal with larger data size. Finally, benchmarks on up to 64 processors compare the performances with respect to sequential and parallel versions, putting that in perspective with a comparable Fortran version.