An optical loss of GaN-based blue-violet laser diodes (BV-LDs) was measured by taking the intensity decay of edge emitting luminescence with respect to the distance from cleaved edge of a wafer to the position where an excitation laser was focused. Amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) was also investigated by tuning the power of an excitation laser on BV-LD wafers. Measurements were performed on wafers with different thicknesses of InGaN optical confinement layers (OCLs). The threshold power of ASE intensity was minimized at an optimum thickness of InGaN OCL. We also found that optical loss of wafers was determined by absorption of an InGaN layer in thicker OCL structure. From experimental data and fittings, we obtained 40 cm(-1) for InGaN absorption at 405 nm. The optical field confined in OCL region was reasonably high enough to affect the overall modal loss in devices. Therefore, the optical losses still remained even though the Mg-doped GaN regions are far enough from the active layers. The crystal quality of an InGaN layer should be an important aspect to improve the performance of BV-LDs.