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land is anticipated within the first ten days of December, and it has been decided to complete all strategic preparations'.15 According to the Imperial orders sent by Sugiyama Hajime, the Army Chief of Staff, to General Terauchi Hisaichi, the Commander of the Southern Army, on 15 November 1941, "the Imperial Head- quarters plan an advance into the Southern areas in order to accomplish the self- preservation and self-defense of the Empire and the establishment of the New Order in Greater East Asia".16 However, since the basis of this doctrine of a 'New Order in Greater East Asia' was a Japanese conception centred on Japan, from the beginning it was difficult to obtain support from other peoples.

After the occupation of the Dutch East Indies, it was not until midway through the War that the Japanese Army's line of thinking evolved towards giv- ing independence to the Indonesians. Following a decision by the Liaison Con- ference, on 31 May 1943 the Imperial Conference agreed on the 'Fundamental Principles of the Political Leadership of Great East Asia', in which it was written that "Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and the Celebes are determined as Imperial territory, and every possible effort will be made to bring popular feelings under our control and to develop this source of supply of essential resources". Namely, Japan tried to preserve the Dutch East Indies as a Japanese colony, but, after considering carefully its effect on the Indonesians, this decision was not made public at the time. l7

Japan made Burma independent on 1 August 1943 and the Philippines on 14 October the same year. It was a natural course of events that, with the inde- pendence of these two countries having an inevitable effect on the Indonesians, and also with the military situation becoming unfavourable to Japan, it became necessary to sanction independence in order to ensure the co-operation of the Indonesian people. After the fall of the Tojo Cabinet and the establishment of the Koiso Cabinet, the Liaison Conference which had been in charge of directing the war was reorganised as the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War. This Supreme Council decided on 19 August 1944 to grant Indonesian independence "in the future",18 and Prime Minister Koiso made a statement to that effect in his administrative policy speech to both Houses of the Diet on 7 September.19 How- ever, the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War sanctioned Indonesian independence only "as far in the future as possible", and the decision to facilitate these preparations without delay was made only on 17 July 1945, immediately before Japan's defeat.20 Even after the declaration of independence of the Indo- nesian Republic on 17 August by the Indonesians themselves, they still had to undertake a war of independence against the Dutch Army before gaining full independence.


The progress of the industrial revolution in Western Europe and the growth of capitalism became strong weapons in the European colonisation of the

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