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World War II Re-explored

Some New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples, Stephanie James and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

This volume is a collection of thirty papers written by authors from around the world. The writers focus on topics related to their own research interests. As a result, readers obtain a worldwide perspective on World War II from academics working on nearly every continent, proving that World War II was, probably, the first ever truly global experience for humanity. Present are many and different perspectives on the war. Eighty years after the end of World War II, these academics share their knowledge and reflections about a gruesome, but still not very remote time. In the new millennium, their studies should remind readers that the ‘end of history’ has been an impossible illusion and warn that peace and stability in international relations are not a given.

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In Search of an Independent Indonesia

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Japanese Occupation Policies for Asia versus Indonesian Nationalist Aspirations during World War Two

Abstract: Indonesia, the largest and most populous country in Southeast Asia, declared itself independent on 17 August 1945. This event occurred just two days after Japan announced its surrender on 15 August. The impact of years of Japanese policies during World War Two on the territory of the Netherlands-Indies had been very significant. Contrary to many other Southeast Asian nations, the Japanese government in Tokyo never formally declared Indonesia independent during the war. The paper argues that the role of the Indonesian nationalists in obtaining these concessions from the Japanese was very minor, and that it was in fact the external World War Two developments in Asia that increasingly forced the Japanese to grant concessions to the Indonesian nationalists. The paper additionally argues that Japan’s policies during the early years of the war emerged as a structural obstruction to the Japanese authorities themselves when, in order to mobilize Indonesian support, they decided to meet Indonesian nationalist aspirations. The paper demonstrates this by focusing on the actual Japanese policies implemented in Indonesia during World War II, and the ways these were amended in coherence with the war raging outside of Java and Indonesia.

Keywords: Japanese Occupation of Indonesia, Japanese military administration, Japanese policies, Indonesian nationalism, Indonesian independence

Introduction

Japanese bombs from no less than 131 aircrafts fell on naval and air bases in Oahu, Hawaii at 7:55...

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