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Major-General Kawaguchi Kiyotake (1892-1961) and the Japanese invasion of Borneo in 1941-1942.


Japanese determination to create a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere to support their own "inner zone" economy (Japan, Korea, and Manchukuo) is well-known, as are the various stages by which they moved inexorably towards an invasion of Southeast Asia in 1938-41. In this paper, by contrast, the focus will be upon Major-General Kawaguchi Kiyotake (1892-1961), commander of the task force which liberated Borneo from British colonial rule in 1941-2. The operation ran like clockwork, a vast area being brought under Tokyo's control within a mere few weeks at a comparatively trifling cost in life and materiel. Yet, despite this success, Kawaguchi remains rather less well-known than some of the other leading figures of the Mas a Jepun, such as Marquess Maeda, (1) Lieutenant General Yamawaki Masataka, (2) Colonel Tsuga, (3) and Lieutenant-General Baba Masao. (4)

Kawaguchi was not involved in any atrocities in Borneo; (5) and the eminent military historian, Sir Max Hastings, says this about him:

General Kiyotake Kawaguchi had managed a prison camp holding Germans in the First World War, and prided himself on its civilised standards. In May 1942 he formally protested at the executions of senior Philippine officials. Once on Guadalcanal, where his forces were starving, he had to dispatch a man on a dangerous reconnaissance mission. Kawaguchi pressed into the soldier's hand the only pathetic consolation he could offer, a tin of sardines which he himself had brought from Japan. He was subsequently relieved of command, for denouncing the futility of sacrificing lives in impossible operations. Dismissal was a common fate for senior officers who had either opposed starting the war against the Western Allies, or grown sceptical about the value of protracting it (Hastings 2008:60).

Clearly, then, an intriguing character.


Born on 3 December 1892, Kawaguchi was a southerner from Kochi Prefecture (formerly known as Tosa) in Shikoku Island. (6) Facing the Pacific, and isolated from the rest of Japan by the mountains to the north, the district claims as its own a former Prime Minister, Yoshida Shigeru (1878-1967), (7) roughly equivalent to Germany's Adenauer. Kochi was also home to many of Japan's political thinkers, notably Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-67), who was instrumental in catalyzing the great political reforms of the Meiji Restoration of 1868. The Freedom and People's Rights Movement began there under the leadership of Itagaki Taisuke (1837-1919), "father of Japanese democracy." His efforts, and those of many others, led to the coining of the phrase "Freedom comes from the mountains of Tosa." (8)

General Kawaguchi's origins, therefore, were in a region with a comparatively liberal political outlook. Graduating from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1914, and from the Army Staff College in 1922, he spent much of the inter-war era in a series of staff positions in the North China Area Army and in the homeland. In 1940 he was promoted to the post of Commander of the 35th Brigade in the rank of major-general. (9)

Borneo 1941-2

The Kawaguchi Detachment, the task force detailed for Northwest Borneo, proceeded from Canton via Cam Ranh Bay in the first part of December 1941. The order of battle, amounting to around three battalions in strength, comprised the 35th Infantry Regiment of the 18th Division, the 33rd Field Anti-Aircraft Battalion and associated units, plus the 2nd Yokusaka Special Naval Landing Force, accompanied by a flotilla (including a submarine chaser) and two reconnaissance aircraft. (10)

According to Wikipedia, the naval vessels were the cruiser Yura (Rear-Admiral Shintaro Hashimoto),11 four destroyers of the 12th Destroyer division (Murakumo, Shinonome, Shirakumo, and Usugumo)--and, of these, the Shinonome would be sent to the bottom of the sea during the action (12)--a submarine-chaser (Ch 7), and an aircraft depot ship, Kamikawa Maru, plus ten transport ships to carry the troops. A "Support Force," commanded by Rear-Admiral Kurita Takeo, (13) was composed of two cruisers (Kumano and Suzuya) and two destroyers (Fubuki and Sagiri). (14)

Lieutenant-General Kawaguchi's goal was to make a landing at Miri and Seria in order to "capture and secure the oilfield district and airfields in that area. A part of the force would then re-establish the Miri oilfield while the main body was to capture the Kuching airbase as soon as possible." (15) The island of Borneo was important to the Imperial Japanese, not for its just oil resources, but also for its strategic position relative particularly to Singapore and Batavia. (16)

The British had adopted scorched earth tactics. All "naturally flowing" oil wells in the Seria area--there were no offshore rigs at that time--had been cemented in September 1941, effectively rendering them useless; production had also ceased at Miri and part of the Lutong refinery was dismantled and the equipment shipped to Singapore. Following the outbreak of war on 8 December, therefore, the only wells remaining to be incapacitated were a few "gas-lift" wells. The compressor station was destroyed and the well heads were then blown off. All oil equipment, installations, secondary workshops, and the electricity-generating station, even stocks of whiskey and gin, were destroyed. In short, "the whole emergency scheme was effectively carried out." (17) A Japanese source agrees that "the enemy had destroyed the key installations in the oilfields and much time was necessary to repair [them]." (18)

Kawaguchi had limited intelligence about the island. Professor Reece reports that he knew nothing about either the local weather or terrain. Kawaguchi had been told in Tokyo to expect to be opposed by one thousand regular solders, 2,500 indigenous volunteers, as well as Dutch forces numbering perhaps 5,600. He had no idea about aircraft located in the area. Despite handicaps of this sort, five thousand Japanese troops went ashore in the Miri-Seria oilfield on 16 December 1941.

On that day a coastal lookout had reported "thirteen large Japanese warships and one large oil tanker" north of Miri. The soldiers of the 2/15th Punjab Regiment having been withdrawn three days earlier after the completion of the oilfield-destruction scheme, (19) and the local volunteer force having been mostly disbanded, the landing actually took place unopposed by ground forces. From Kuala Belait the Japanese moved quickly overland to Tutong and by the 22nd they had reached the state capital. When their commander, Captain Koyama, entered Brunei Town, the liberators were "enthusiastically welcomed by the inhabitants." (20) Labuan was taken on 1 January 1942, (21) one day after the capture of Limbang. Japanese forces reached Kuching on 24 December 1941. (22) Elsewhere, Jesselton fell on 9 January 1942, (23) Sandakan and Balikpapan on the 19th, Sibu on the 29th, and Kapit on the next day. (24) By the time Banjarmasin was captured on 10 February 1942 the entire island was under effective Japanese control. The old order was gone forever. The Japanese invasion, in Cleary and Eaton's analysis, "was of dramatic importance throughout Borneo, ultimately marking off one period of history from another, and having profound political and administrative consequences." (25) These events were all part of the United Kingdom's "strategic disaster" of 1940-2, which "lit the long fuse" for the collapse of the British Empire. (26)

Kawaguchi's triumph was overwhelming, the British humiliation catastrophic and, in reality, irreversible. This was undoubtedly his hour to strut upon the stage of world history. It is true that very little resistance was encountered; but the Japanese had not been entirely unopposed. Their transports were bombed at least once a day from the air while landing at the oilfield, resulting in forty "casualties." (27) British sources agree that on 17-20 and 28 December Dutch planes (two of which were lost) attacked Japanese shipping off Miri "and are believed to have sunk at least one destroyer." (28) Postwar Japanese accounts concede that on 22 December 1941, three ships, including one destroyer, were "torpedoed" by "enemy submarines," causing heavy damage to all three. (29) Reece says that on 17-18 December Dutch bombers based at Singkawang II Airfield sank the destroyer Shinonome (30) and some landing craft.

Kuching airfield, guarded by the Punjab Regiment, because it afforded access to Dutch Borneo, was denied to the enemy. The subsequent five-month retreat to the south coast of the island was disastrous for the Punjab Regiment, which lost 524 killed or missing (of whom 473 were Indians), whilst the remaining 579 were interned in Java, after capture on 3 April 1942. A Japanese source admits the loss of one hundred Japanese dead and one hundred injured during this campaign. (31)

The British government officials and rubber planters in Brunei were seized and interned for the remainder of the conflict, briefly in Miri and then in Kuching. (32) Pending the arrival of permanent Japanese staff, Kawaguchi, with the consent of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin (r 1924-50), handed the administration of Brunei to Inche Ibrahim bin Mohamed Jahfar, formerly "Secretary to British Resident." (33) Father Piet de Wit (1914-1983), a Dutch priest who had not been arrested at first because the Japanese supposed him to be German, recalled that His Highness had "no qualms about signing the capitulation" because the British had let him down. "He was not pleased with the Japanese soldiers," Fr. de Wit noted. "His peace was disturbed and they ordered dinners all the time. He hoped the Americans would come to help get them [the Japanese] out, but the news was not good." (34)

It was reported that there were no secret societies or [pro-Japanese] fifth column; but the people could do nothing practical to resist the invader. Chinese shopkeepers in Brunei, however, had boycotted Japanese goods since 1937. (35) Mr. Noel Turner, the Assistant Resident stationed in Kuala Belait, recalled that the Japanese had had an obvious "sleeping agent" there, a fancy-goods dealer called Mr. Suzuki. (36)

In early 1942 the British Residents of Brunei (Mr. E.E. Pengilley) (37) and Labuan (Mr. A.H.R Humphrey) (38) were invited by the Japanese to work under them. Both refused. (39) The Brunei State Medical Officer, Dr George Graham, (40) was not finally interned until 1943. A party of Europeans (including the general manager of the British Malayan Petroleum Company, (41) Mr. Brian Berey Parry, who had escaped into the interior) was murdered by the Japanese at Long Nawang. This was "as horrible as anything in history," including the massacre of children, according to Major G.S. Carter DSO. (42) On 1 April 1942 clocks were advanced one hour all over the sultanate so as to conform with Tokyo time. The year was also calculated in Japanese style from 4 July 1942 (2602 Japanese style). (43)

Ivor Evans (1886-1957), a British expatriate undertaking ethnographical surveys in North Borneo, noted in his diaries that the British were "great at retreating nowadays." (44) The Japanese arrived at Kota Belud, where he was living, three weeks later. When premature reports that Singapore had fallen reached him he expostulated: "What a show! Our useless military again!" (45) He noted that 18 February was celebrated in North Borneo with a public holiday for the "total occupation of Singapore." (46) This was a setback from which British prestige in Southeast Asia "never recovered"; (47) indeed, the fall of the garrison would have "brought ruin to any lesser man than Churchill." (48)

Meanwhile, the Borneo invasion had also been something of a pinnacle for Kawaguchi himself. In March 1942 the Kawaguchi Detachment left Borneo for the Philippines. (49) Subsequent operations in Cebu and Mindanao proceeded comparatively smoothly; but the Kawaguchi Detachment was later annihilated on Guadalcanal: of six thousand Japanese, ninety per cent would fall there on a single day (13 September 1942). The wounded American bear would prove to be far more dangerous than the senescent British lion. And for Kawaguchi personally the consequences would be severe: it was downhill from now on, imperceptibly at first, but then at pace.


In the Philippines the main controversy engulfing Kawaguchi was the execution on 2 May 1942 of Jose Abad Santos, an episode which would in due course lead to him being hauled before a war crimes tribunal.

At the start of the Pacific War Abad Santos (1886-1942) was serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in the Commonwealth of the Philippines. (50) On Christmas Eve 1941, following the Japanese landing, he was sworn in by President Manuel Luis Quezon (1878-1944) as Chief Justice with cabinet status. Two days later Quezon, along with Vice-President Sergio Osmena Sr. (1878-1961), Abad Santos and other high officials, fled from Manila for Corregidor. (51) Preferring to remain in his homeland rather than accept an opportunity to escape to Australia, Abad Santos was appointed by Quezon on 17 March 1942 as his delegate with full powers, essentially as acting president (although there is some ambiguity here, because Manuel Acuna Roxas 1892-1948 appears to have been similarly endowed (52)). Abad Santos reached Cebu by ferry on 7 April 1942, where he was captured by Japanese soldiers four days later.

Kawaguchi, commander of the forces which landed on Cebu on 10-11 April, and Colonel Kawakami, chief of the military administration in that province, took turns in interrogating Abad Santos. Having ascertained who he was, they wanted him to contact Roxas, then in Mindanao, and induce him to surrender. He was also asked to take the oath of allegiance to Japan and to renounce his allegiance to the Commonwealth Government. He was offered a position in the puppet government; not wishing to commit treason, he declined. The Japanese military administration in Manila under Major-General Hayashi Yoshihide (1891-1978) was informed of Abad Santos's refusal to cooperate.

The transcript of the investigation of Abad Santos in Cebu by Kawaguchi reveals that he had been charged with being a member of Quezon's war cabinet, that he had ordered the burning of Cebu City, and that he had been responsible for the printing of emergency currency notes in the southern islands. The order for the execution of Abad Santos, issued by Hayashi, bore the seal of approval of Major-General Wachi Tokuji, then chief of staff, later Hayashi's successor, and of Homma Masaharu, the commanding general of the Japanese Army in the Philippines. It was duly transmitted to Kawaguchi, commander of the Japanese forces in Cebu, who was at the time preparing his forces to land in Mindanao.

On 15 April 1942 Lieutenant-Colonel Inosuka Keisuke, a staff officer under General Wachi, was sent to Cebu with instructions from Hayashi to remind Kawaguchi to execute Abad Santos. According to Inosuka, Kawaguchi looked "dissatisfied" to hear these orders. Intervention in Manila with Homma by Dr. Laurel (53) came too late. Laurel later informed Judge Salvador Abad Santos that his older brother's death warrant had been signed by Homma. (54)

Around 26 April Abad Santos and his son, Pepito, were sent to Mindanao, the next objective of the Kawaguchi Unit. After a day and two nights at sea, Abad Santos and son landed with Japanese troops in Parang, North-West Cotabato. Kawaguchi remained in Parang only for one day. The next morning, the troops moved overland to Malabang, Lanao, taking their prisoners with them.

Kawaguchi told Abad Santos: "From the commander-in-chief in Manila I received a third order to execute you. I have been trying to save you, but now I am forced to carry out the order from my superiors." Granted a final interview with his son, Abad Santos was shot at Malabang "under a tall coconut tree near a river bank." He died at two o'clock in the afternoon of 2 May 1942. A search after the war failed to locate his mortal remains. He was survived by his widow, Amanda Teopaco, and five children, Luz, Amanda, Victoria, and Osmundo, besides Pepito. Kawaguchi considered Abad Santos to have been "truly a great man"; he asked Pepito not to have any ill-feeling toward him because he had merely obeyed the orders of his superiors.

When the Kawaguchi Unit moved to Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao), they took Pepito along. After two nights in Cagayan de Oro, he was placed on a Japanese ship bound for Manila. Kawaguchi was on the same vessel. He was going to report to Hayashi that the latter's orders for the execution of Abad Santos had been carried out. Kawaguchi warned Pepito that he would meet the same fate as his father if he went on a hunger strike.

Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands)

On Guadalcanal (55) the Kawaguchi Detachment faced far more murderous resistance than anything experienced hitherto in Borneo or the Philippines; indeed, it was effectively wiped out. (56)

On 18 May 1942 the Kawaguchi Detachment was assigned to the 17th Japanese Army under the command of Lieutenant-General Hyakutake Harukichi (1888-1947), based in Rabaul. (57) In the wider context, the Battle of Midway took place on 7 June and Japanese planned assaults against New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa had to be postponed indefinitely. (58) On 18 July Hyakutake prepared a plan under which the Navy was to seize Samarai at the entrance to Milne Bay at the eastern end of New Guinea on 25 August with the help of a battalion of the Kawaguchi Detachment. (59) The engagement at Kokoda Track in New Guinea took place in July-September 1942. (60) Meanwhile, during the second week in August, the battalion of the Kawaguchi Detachment assigned to the Milne Bay operation was sent instead to help clear Guadalcanal, which had been occupied by US Marines since 7 August. (61)

At that time, when the Japanese Empire was at or near its peak extent (see map in Innes 1981:1223), the 35th Infantry Brigade was at Palau. (62) Kawaguchi himself was photographed there with his brigade staff shortly before departing for Guadalcanal. By 23 August, his unit had reached Truk (63) (Micronesia), whence it proceeded to Guadalcanal via Rabaul (New Britain, part of what is now PNG) and a Japanese naval base in the Shortland Islands (off the southern tip of Bougainville).

Kawaguchi's mission was to recapture Henderson Field, (64) an airbase which had been seized from the Japanese on 7 August, and to drive Allied forces from the island. He failed to achieve either objective. Despite losses caused by Allied air attacks, the Japanese landed almost five thousand troops on Guadalcanal between 29 August and 4 September alone, including all of the 35th Infantry Brigade. Kawaguchi himself arrived at Taivu Point on 31 August and immediately assumed command of all the Japanese soldiers on the island.

As during the Borneo campaign, Kawaguchi lacked good maps; (65) but on Guadalcanal this was a much more serious matter. It meant that he had trouble locating where he was in relation to the US Marine lines, as well as coordinating his attacks. He later complained "Due to the devilish jungle, the brigade was scattered all over and was completely beyond my control. In my whole life, I have never felt so disappointed and helpless." (66) In Borneo Kawaguchi had an inflated expectation of the extent of likely opposition; on Guadalcanal, by contrast, he vastly underestimated the strength of the US Marines, which he supposed to number only two thousand compared to the actual figure, which was six times higher. It would prove to be a costly misapprehension.

Kawaguchi set the date for his attack on the Lunga perimeter, which guarded Henderson Field, (67) for 12 September and began marching his army, six-thousand-strong, west from Taivu towards Lunga Point on 5 September. He lightly probed a position held by US Marines under the command of Colonel Merritt A. Edson (68) on 12 September, while Henderson Field was shelled by Japanese naval forces. (69) On the 13th Edson tried a counter-attack but was forced back to his original positions. That night, in a driving rain that severely limited visibility, the Japanese poured out of the jungle, smashing into the ridge position and forcing the American flanking companies back on the center of the ridge. The Japanese were usually adept at night operations; (70) but this time the Marines held. The Battle of Edson's Ridge, as it became known, turned into a rout. In the morning there was little left for the Americans to do but mop up. Only about five hundred of Kawaguchi's men struggled back alive through the jungle. A pair of diversionary attacks mounted against the coastal perimeters while Kawaguchi struck, died in the face of stubborn Marine fire. (71) The victory gave a much-needed respite to the Americans, who were suffering from a shortage of reinforcements and ammunition, insufficient rations, and the spread of tropical diseases, particularly malaria. (72) At 1305h on 14 September Kawaguchi led the survivors of his shattered brigade away from the ridge and deeper into the jungle.

Kawaguchi was recalled to Rabaul to explain his failure to Hyakutake. He returned to Guadalcanal with the 17th Army commander and was given command of a detachment of the six-thousand strong 2nd Division under Lieutenant-General Maruyama Masao (1889-1957). (73) The renewed attack on Henderson Field failed. Kawaguchi, refusing to take responsibility for a frontal attack, appears to have disobeyed orders; his advance came late and was not coordinated with the rest of the attacking force. (74) He was relieved of command and sent back to Japan. In the end, however, he had the last word, certainly over Hyakutake, who languished on Bougainville, where he suffered a stroke and was himself dismissed in February 1945; it was not possible for him to be repatriated to Japan until February 1946, and he survived only until 10 March 1947. (75)

Tsushima Island, Imprisonment, and Death

Kawaguchi was relegated to the reserve list in March 1943. After recovering from a long illness, he was recalled in March 1945 and given command of Tsushima Island (located between between Kyushu and Korea), retiring again later the same year. After the war, Kawaguchi was arrested by the SCAP (76) occupation authorities. In 1946 he was tried for war crimes, including complicity in the execution of Abad Santos. His attempts to save the Chief Justice and his warnings to Pepito proved to be mitigating factors. Sentenced to six years' imprisonment in Sugamo Prison, he was released in 1953, and died in Japan on 16 May 1961. (77) His corpse was cremated but the location of the ashes is now unknown. (78)

Overall Assessment

If, as Gibbon maintains, "Wars, and the administration of public affairs, are the principal subjects of history," (79) then Lieutenant-General Kawaguchi becomes an excellent case study. The overall assessment of his life must be that the Borneo invasion was a high point. Yet his triumph was fleeting. Thereafter things started to go downhill; and his career was effectively destroyed by the US Marine Corps at Edson's Ridge on 13 September 1942. Imbued with the "true Bushido spirit," (80) Kawaguchi was strong-willed, often to the point of insubordination; but he had a good grasp of the importance of the Guadalcanal campaign (perhaps the lynchpin of the Pacific War) and is regarded in some quarters as Vandegrift's worthiest opponent. (81) Unlike most of his own soldiers, however, he did at least survive, if only to serve a post-war prison term. But, even on Kawaguchi's own showing, the true hero of this tale turns out to be a brave Philippine patriot, Jose Abad Santos, who preferred steadfastness to flight and who chose death rather than treachery.

The Japanese held Borneo itself for less than four years before it was recaptured by Australian forces; in a longer term perspective, however, the starting gun for the end of the British Empire had been fired; and the Japanese aim of ending European colonial rule in Southeast Asia was achieved.


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(1) Lieutenant-General Maeda Toshinari (1885-1942), a Japanese aristocrat, was Commander-in-Chief of the Borneo Garrison Army from April 1942 until his death in an aircraft accident offshore from Bintulu on 5 September 1942. In 1936 he was appointed President of the Military Staff College, from which he himself had graduated thirty-one years earlier. His career, "unostentatious yet brilliant," included a spell as military attache in London in the 1920s. He also commanded a unit in Manchukuo, before assuming his final post in Borneo (Japan Times and Advertiser, 29 October 1942).

(2) Lieutenant-General Yamawaki Masataka (1886-1974)--not "Nasataka" as stated erroneously by the present writer elsewhere--was the commander in northern Borneo from September 1942 until December 1944 (according to HESEA 2004:1431). A graduate of the Military Preparatory School in Hiroshima, Yamawaki's classmates included General Yamashita Tomoyuki (1885-1946), "Tiger of Malaya" (ibid.). Like Maeda, he rose to become President of the MSC. Professor Reece (1998:165) states that he was promoted full General on 24 September 1944 and summoned back to Tokyo as Military Counsellor at the Imperial General Headquarters.

(3) Colonel Tsuga (d 1945), stationed at Kuching, was in charge of all prison camps in northern Borneo during the war.

(4) Not "Masaro," as used in at least one secondary source. Lieutenant-General Baba Masao, GOC (37th) Imperial Japanese Army in Borneo in 1945 (which covered the time of the Sandakan-Ranau death marches), surrendered to Major-General Sir George Wootten (1893-1970) in Labuan on 10 September 1945 (WO 203/2400); tried before an Australian court martial at Rabaul between 28 May and 2 June 1947, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging; an appeal against conviction was rejected and he was executed at Rabaul by the Australian Army on 7 August 1947 (Moffitt 1989:122, 130).

(5) The main crimes laid at the door of the Japanese--such as the backlashes following the Kinabalu Uprising of October 1943 and the Pontianak Rebellion in 1943-4--all occurred long after Kawaguchi had exited the stage.

(6) By coincidence General Yamawaki was also from Kochi (Reece 1998:160*, 161).

(7) Magnusson (1995:1594) states that he was born in Tokyo; likewise the Encyclopaedia Britannica (online).

(8) Kochi's official website, accessed around 1 lOOh GMT on Saturday 10 January 2015.

(9) Kent G. Budge, Pacific War Online Encyclopaedia, accessed on 13 May 2014 at 1339h BST.

(10) Reece 1998:31.

(11) Rear-Admiral Hashimoto Shintaro (1892-1945), a torpedo specialist, had graduated from the Naval Academy in 1913, and underwent further training at the Naval Staff College in 1925-6. He held several destroyer commands during the inter-war era. During the Pacific War he served in the invasions of Malaya and Borneo. After seeing action at Midway Island and in the Solomon Islands, he "commanded the 5th Cruiser Squadron, as part of the 10th Area Fleet." He went down with the well-armed 13,380-ton heavy cruiser Haguro, which was sunk twenty-seven nautical miles southwest of Penang on 15-16 May 1945 by British destroyers in the last major surface action fought by Royal Navy during the Second World War (Hastings 2008:471-2; L. Klemen, "Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-2", available online). Captain Douglas Stobie, 92, an officer who helped sink the vessel, died as recently as 2011 (Daily Telegraph, London, W.7.9.2011:29).

(12) Reece 1998:31; "some landing craft" were also sunk.

(13) Vice-Admiral Kurita Takeo (1889-1977) was the Japanese commander at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 23-25 October 1944, having steamed from Brunei Bay on 22 October (Hastings 2008: chapter six).

(14) Wikipedia.

(15) (Imperial War Museum, London) AL 1099, Colonel Ogawa Itsu and Lieutenant-Colonel Sei Ino, "Borneo Operations 1941-2"; page 254. Colonel Ogawa was the senior adjutant of the Kawaguchi Detachment (Reece page 40, note 8).

(16) Reece 1998:30: Ooi Keat Gin 2013:15.

(17) CO 968/15 (File 6, item 4), report by AO Buchan and RN Connock, 22 December 1941.

(18) (IWM) Box 6, AL 1099, page 252.

(19) Reece claims, however, that "complete surprise" was achieved so that "all codes, cyphers, and currency were discovered intact" (1998:31).

(20) RHO Mss Pac s55: Inche Raus, "Stories of Brunei" (1942), translated by Mr. P. Scanlon (1951), p 29; and Osaka Mainichi, 18 January 1942, page 6.

(21) Not on 3 January 1942, as stated in some secondary sources.

(22) Payne 1986:173.

(23) For a first-hand account of North Borneo during the early stages of Japanese rule (December 1941 to May 1942), see Evans 2002:382-438.

(24) Reece 1998:245.

(25) Cleary and Eaton 1992:68.

(26) Darwin 2013:337-41,384.

(27) Ogawa Itsu and Sei Ino, loc. cit., p 256.

(28) CO 604/29 Sarawak Gazette, 7 October 1949, p 266; and 7 November 1949, p 291.

(29) (IWM) Box 22, AL 5256 Ogawa Itsu and Lieutenant-Colonel Ino Masash, "Borneo Operations 1941-5"--Japanese monograph No 26 HQ US Army, Japan, 1957, page 12.

(30) The Shinonome (1927-41) was a Fubuki-class destroyer (i.e. 1,750-2,050 long tons, 388 x 34 feet, draft of 10ft 6in, speed of 38 knots, complement of 219, 38 guns, 9 torpedo tubes, 36 depth charges), built at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal. It participated in the second Sino-Japanese War, the invasion of French Indo-China, and the Battle of Malaya. It was sunk by Dutch bombers off Miri on either 17 or 18 December 1942, when it exploded and sank with all hands. Marine archaeologists have been searching for the wreck since 2004 (Wikipedia).

(31) (PRO, Kew) WO 203/2869.

(32) CO 604/30 Sarawak Gazette, 10 August 1950:205-12; (Rhodes House, Oxford) Mss BE s454: Datuk RN Turner, "From the Depths of my Memory" (three volumes, 1976), chapter IX (pp 62-82); (Imperial War Museum) A6024.08, "Enemy Internment of British Civilians, 1941-5" (typescript of an interview with Tan Sri Datuk Humphrey).

(33) Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Datu Perdana Menteri [cr 1951] Dato Laila Utama [cr 1965] Awang Flaji Ibrahim bin Mohamed Jahfar (1902-71) joined the Brunei Government Service in 1917. District Officer, Brunei and Muara, 1932-5. Secretary to the British Resident, 1935-41. State Secretary, 1941-5. Retired from the Brunei Administrative Service, 1946. Secretary to Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin III, 1951-9. Menteri Besar, 1959-62. Speaker of the Legislative Council, 1963-9. Father of YD Pehin Isa Ibrahim (b 1935), who also enjoyed a glittering career as a courtier and government minister, before retiring in February 2015 as Speaker of the Legislative Council (PB Rabu 21 Rabiulakhir 1436 or 11 February 2015, page 24); and of YD Pehin Mohd Abbas Al-Sufri, another loyal servant of the royal family, who died on Saturday 8 March 2014 at the age of eighty-eight (Brunei Times online 9.3.2014). This family has served the country, therefore, for nearly a whole century.

(34) Fr. P de Wit, "Van Sultans en Sultans Dochters," in Maanblad van Mill Hill, No 7, December 1951:185-6.

(35) CO 824/2 Brunei Annual Report 1938:28.

(36) Datuk Robert Noel Turner SPDK CMG (1912-1987), letter to the author, 16 February 1983. Datuk Turner was Chief Secretary in Barbados (1950-6) and in North Borneo (1956-63); State Secretary, Sabah 1963-4. Died on 18 January 1987.

(37) Ernest Edgar Pengilley (1897-1984) was British Resident in Brunei from January 1940 until the Japanese invasion; Efficiency Decoration, 1940 (BAR 1940:23). Interned in Batu Lintang camp, 1942-5. Malayan Civil Service, 1921-52 (Class IB, 1946). Returned to the Peninsula in 1954-6 as Special Constables Resettlement Officer.

(38) Tan Sri Datuk Arthur Hugh Peters Humphrey PMN CMG OBE (1911-2001) was British Resident in Labuan, 1940-2; like Pengilley, he survived internment at Batu Lintang. MCS, 1934-60. Secretary for Defence and Internal Security, Federation of Malaya, 1953-7 [cf. John Gullick's memoir in JMBRAS, December 2014:62, 63]. Controller of Special Projects, Overseas Development Administration, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1961-71. Died on 10 September 2001 (DT Sa.15.9.2001:22f #4).

(39) Pengilley, letter to the author, 10 May 1983; Humphrey, letter to the author, 5 April 1983, paragraph 5.

(40) Dato Seri Laila Jasa [cr 1971] Dr. George MacBeth Graham: born on 15 October 1907. Canadian doctor (BA MD Toronto; LMCC DTM&H), appointed to the Malayan Medical Service on 19 July 1935; served at Seremban, Singapore, and Kuala Kangsar, before being posted to Brunei in January 1940. DSLJ 1971 (Brunei Government Gazette 25.8.1973:399).

(41) The BMPC (1922-57), a subsidiary of the Royal Dutch-Shell Group, discovered the Seria oilfield in April 1929; in 1957 it was reformed as the Brunei Shell Petroleum Company (see Harper 1975).

(42) G.S. Carter, "Extract of a Report on the Long Nawang Massacre" (1950), typescript in the possession of the author by courtesy of Major Carter; cf. Lieutenant Okino, a novel by Mr. R.H. Hickling (London, 1968). According to Major Carter's report, forty-five of the sixty-eight victims were Dutch.

(43) Inche Raus, loc. cit., see also Evans 2002:402, 408.

(44) Evans 2002:391, entry for 1 January 1942.

(45) Ibid., p 404.

(46) Ibid., p 405. See also, p 408.

(47) In the case of Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015), for example, the "brutality" of the Japanese was "seminal" in the formation of his political views. A schoolboy at the time of the British capitulation, he "narrowly avoided the fate of other Chinese youths who were rounded up on lorries by Japanese troops to be taken to the beach, forced to dig their own graves, then shot" (obituary, DT Tu.24.3.2015:29). A little earlier, when proceedings were being disturbed by the noise of demolition works, Lee replied to the headmaster of Raffles College: what we are hearing is "the end of the British Empire" (cited in Brandon 2008:422).

(48) Taylor 1975:657-8.

(49) The 4th Independent Mixed Regiment, directly attached to the Southern Army, took over the duties of the Kawaguchi Detachment in Borneo and was responsible for peace and order, the establishment of a military government, the development of natural resources, and the mopping up of the remaining enemy in the mountain ranges of west Borneo. In April 1942, in order to expand Japanese military government, Tokyo ordered the activation of the Borneo Garrison Army.

(50) This section is based on the Official Gazette of the Philippine Government (available online), which in turn is derived from a biography of Abad Santos by Ramon C. Aquino (published by Phoenix Publishing House in Quezon City, 1985).

(51) Manila fell to the Japanese on 2 January 1942 (Hall 1968:778; Evans 2002:391-2, 417-18).

(52) HESEA 2004:1153.*

(53) Dr. Jose Paciano Laurel (1891-1959) was president of the Japanese-sponsored Philippine Republic, 1943-5 (HESEA 2004:775); he also contested the 1949 presidential election. When war broke out with Japan, Laurel was appointed "secretary of justice and chief justice of the Supreme Court"; he was ordered to remain in Manila by Quezon (ibid, p 776).

(54) Homma was subsequently found guilty of war crimes, including complicity in the Bataan Death March (HESEA 2004:223*). I le was executed on 3 April 1946.

(55) The Solomon Islands did not become independent until 1978 (Lenman 2000:778; Anderson 2001:220-1).

(56) Innes 1981:1241.

(57) Ibid., pp 1231, 1248. Rabaul, the capital of territory mandated to Australia at the end of World War I, had been captured on 23 January 1942 by the Japanese Army's South Seas Detachment, forcing the small Australian garrison to scatter into the hills (Innes 1981:1227).

(58) Ibid., p 1232.

(59) Ibid.

(60) Ibid., pp 1232-7.

(61) Ibid., pp 1238, 1246.

(62) The Republic of Palau is an archipelago six hundred miles east of the Philippines, with an estimated population of 18,500 in 1999. Held by Germany between 1899 and 1914, the territory was mandated to Japan by the League of Nations in 1920. It was captured by the United States in 1944 and became an independent republic fifty years later (Anderson 2001:197-8). See further, Jonathan Pearlman, "Revealed: secrets of the Palau war caves," Sunday Telegraph (London), 29 March 2015:33*/**; Emperor Akihoto was due to visit the territory in early April 2015.

(63) Now known as "Chuuk."

(64) See the aerial reconnaissance photograph in Shaw 1981:1250. Henderson Field was named after a Marine pilot killed in the Battle of Midway (Shaw 1981:1247).

(65) Kawaguchi had had just one small-scale map of Borneo (Reece 1998:31).

(66) Wikipedia, "The Battle of Edson's Ridge," accessed on Saturday 10 January 2015 at 1108h GMT.

(67) See the diagrams in Shaw 1981:1248.

(68) The overall US commander on Guadalcanal was Major-General Alexander A. Vandegrift (photographed in Shaw 1981:1250*).

(69) Shaw 1981:1249.

(70) Innes 1981:1234[-] 1236.

(71) Shaw 1981:1249-50.

(72) Ibid., 1250.

(73) Ibid., 1252.

(74) Budge, Pacific War Online Encyclopedia, accessed on Saturday 28 March 2015 at 1145h GMT.

(75) Budge, Pacific War Online Encylopedia; and article by C Peter Chen, World War II Database website; both accessed on Saturday 28 March 2015.

(76) Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (Storry 1976:239).

(77) Budge, Pacific War Online Encyclopaedia.

(78) Find A Grave website, accessed at 1146h GMT on Saturday 28 March 2015.

(79) Gibbon 205:117.

(80) Find a Grave website.

(81) Budge, Pacific War Online Encyclopedia, accessed on Saturday 28 March 2015 at 1145h GMT; and the authorities cited there.
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Author:Horton, A.V.M.
Publication:Borneo Research Bulletin
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Date:Jan 1, 2014
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