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The Indonesian nationalists and the Japanese "liberation" of Indonesia: visions and reactions.


It is generally assumed that most of the Indonesian population, including the nationalists, resigned themselves passively to the threat of an imminent war with Japan. There were no large-scale preparations on the side of the Indonesians either to help the Japanese army of invasion find its way or to sabotage the Dutch.(1) This is especially true of Java, the political heartland of Indonesia, where the evidence would seem to point to the fact that no pro-Japanese underground movement existed.(2) Only in Aceh among the Minangkabau in Sumatra had the Japanese found Indonesian allies willing to organize anti-Dutch activities.(3) In Palembang in South Sumatra there was also an espionage organization established by the Japanese themselves probably in order to prevent the destruction of the oil refineries at Playu and Sungai Gerong.(4) In the strongly Islamic region of Gorontalo in North Sulawesi, the local nationalists actually succeeded in taking over the European administration. They arrested the Dutch and proclaimed the Republik Gorontalo on 23 January 1942, just before the Japanese reached their area.(5)

In Java, where the repressive policy adopted by the Dutch government towards the nationalists was most severe, the Dutch seem to have had everything under control on the eve of the outbreak of the war with Japan. Nevertheless, there is some information available which suggests that there could have been an anti-Dutch oriented underground organization in Java. In this context George Kanahele(6) mentions the Sumatran Jusuf Hasan who returned to Java early in 1941 as a Japanese agent.(7) He collaborated with several Japanese, including Nishijima Shigetada,(8) Ishii Taro, Maeda and Machida. Kanahele claims that their specific assignment was to collect information on Dutch military and defence installations and to set up a fifth column. In the summer of 1941, Jusuf Hasan and his Japanese accomplices organized a group of Indonesian nationalists in a conspiracy to sabotage the Dutch defence efforts in the event of a war with Japan. Among those whom he names as belonging to Jusuf's fifth column group are Achmad Subardjo,(9) Maramis, a close friend of Subardjo and of Jusuf Hasan himself, Tadjuddin Noor (member of the People's Council) and Dr. Samsi Sastrowidagdo, a prominent nationalist. The others are unnamed. Kanahele treats seriously the possibility that there was indeed a real attempt made by Jusuf Hasan to set up a fifth column. He concludes, however, that as events turned out the group had no real opportunity to operate against the Dutch because of the sudden collapse of the colonial defence forces a week after the Japanese landed in Java.

The NEFIS collection, held by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, contains some documents classified under different headings which seem to support George Kanahele's presumption that there was a kind of underground organization operating in Java some months before the Japanese landed there. The documents, written in Indonesian, were found in December 1945 by the Dutch in the former building of the Gunseikanbu in Jakarta, where they were part of the archive of Sudjono,(10) who worked during the war with the Japanese Ministry of General Affairs. Most of these documents are classified under the heading "Organization Subardjo", even though most of the reports do not actually refer to this organization. Some of the 30 or so reports are dated March, April and May 1942, but the bulk of them are dated July 1942. All give an overview of the local situation and the activities of the members involved in the organization just before and just after the arrival of the Japanese Army. During the eight-day battle for Java they were among the first to form Merdeka committees to welcome the victorious Japanese army and offer their help.(11) Achmad Subardjo is named as one of the leaders of the Central Committee in Jakarta which co-ordinated the activities of the local Merdeka committees.(12)

In the first part of this paper I will pay attention to an underground organization directed by nationalists in Java which prepared anti-Dutch activities before and during the war, examining what preparations they made and what activities they undertook. Going one step further, another question is what were the motives of the local nationalists who set up Merdeka committees for becoming supporters of the Japanese, rather than striving for independence for Indonesia? In order to gain an insight into the activities of the nationalists, including the preparations they made and the actions they carried out, these must be analyzed against the background of the continuously changing political context: the Dutch colonial regime, which was in full control before the outbreak of the war on 8 December 1941; the brief interregnum when the battle for Java was waged; the vacuum of authority in the first week after the invasion of Java by the Japanese army; and the policy of the Japanese military regime towards the nationalists in the first four months of the occupation.

Japan: The Liberator of Indonesia

One crucial point which caused many nationalists to look to Japan as the power that could help them to gain their Indonesia Merdeka was the introduction of the Native Militia Bill by the Dutch government in July 1941. Although they had been requesting the setting up of an Indonesian Militia for years, the nationalists in the People's Council unanimously rejected the bill. They did so because he Dutch, thus far, had refused to recognize the right of the Indonesian people to defend their own country and, moreover, no concessions for any political reforms were being granted.(13) Another point which influenced some nationalists was the failure of the economic negotiations between the Dutch and the Japanese governments in June 1941. They supported Japan 100 per cent because it represented a source of cheap commodities for the Indonesian people and could change the economic structure.(14)

The Dutch refusal to grant any political reforms strengthened solidarity among the nationalists and led to the establishment of the Council of the Indonesian People, Madjalis Rakyat Indonesia, in September 1941, as a representative body of the people whose aim was to strive together for an Indonesian parliament.(15) Quite apart from these disappointments, there were signs that nationalist sympathy for Japan was also gaining ground in the same period. The Japanese propaganda "Asia for the Asians" was increasingly seen as an ideal solution to a political situation which seemed to have reached an impasse. Only the Gerindo (Gerakan Rakjat Indonesia/the Indonesian People's Movement), the left-wing of the nationalist movement, still saw the straggle for national independence as dependent upon the outcome of the world-wide straggle between the forces of Facism and anti-Facism. The Parindra (Partai Indonesia Raya/the Greater Indonesia Party), the largest nationalist party, was becoming steadily more pro-Japan minded. The popularity of Japan intensified as one aspect of the growing anti-Dutch animus, which was a projection of the frustrated desire for freedom. The idea took hold that the liberation of Indonesia would begin with the expulsion of the Dutch by the Japanese. According to the Jayabaya myth, the Dutch would be driven out of Indonesia by a yellow race which would come from the north and the ordinary people interpreted this to refer to the Japanese. After a hundred days of occupation, the promised days of freedom would be at hand.(16) The Japanese propaganda made very good use of this material. Since 1939 Radio Tokyo had been broadcasting daily programmes to the Indies in Malay,(17) but from September 1941 the tone of the Japanese broadcasts changed, growing more anti-Dutch, and stressing that Japan would liberate the Indonesians and bring prosperity. Each transmission ended with the national anthem, Indonesia Raya.(18) The independence of Indonesia was, so to speak, just around the corner.

This was the political climate in which an anti-Dutch underground organization took shape. The first information available about the existence of such a kind of organization dates from September 1941. In that month, Achmad Subardjo proposed to the writer of the relevant report that he join the underground movement active against the Dutch government in Batavia. The aims of the organization were to stimulate the population to help the Japanese in their landings in Java, to prevent the Dutch from pursuing a scorched-earth policy, to maintain order among the population and to stockpile food supplies. The contacts in Japan mentioned were Jusuf Hasan and one of his fellow-workers. They worked for Radio Tokyo and would give instructions. Much later, the writer of this report heard that he was supposed to co-operate with Subardjo, Maramis, Tadjuddin Noor and Hindromartono.(19) Other nationalists named as members of this organization were Sartono (Buitenzorg), Dr Boentaran (Semarang), Dr Samsi (Surabaya),(20) Latuharhary and Soenarko (Malang).(21) Most of the above-mentioned people were friends of Achmad Subardjo. Dr Samsi and Dr Boentaran knew Subardjo from their university days in the Netherlands, where they used to meet each other at the Indonesian Student Association (Perhimpunan Indonesia). This was also the case with Maramis and Latuharhary. Tadjuddin Noor was a friend of Subardjo whom he had met in Malang when he was gravely ill.(22) Subardjo probably met Jusuf Hasan during his visit to Japan in 1935. Jusuf Hasan is also mentioned as one of the people who sought contact with nationalists in Blitar in October 1941, declaring that they were prepared to work in the interests of Japan. He is only mentioned once, probably because he returned to Tokyo to support the organization by means of Radio Tokyo in November 1941. It was, however, not Subardjo himself who travelled through Java to recruit supporters for anti-Dutch underground activities, but one of his fellow-workers, Ismangoenwonoto spent October and November 1941 on the road in Java, visiting nationalists in Yogyakarta, Kertosono and Semarang.(23) Ismangoenwonoto instructed the nationalists to incite anti-Dutch feelings among the Indonesian people, in particular among Indonesian members of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army and the police, and advise them not to fight against the Japanese. Further instructions would be given by Radio Tokyo.(24) In Semarang, he co-ordinated the activities of three small groups of nationalists already established there to undermine Dutch authority. The tasks were shared out, with one group responsible for propaganda among the Indonesian soldiers, one for work among the common people and the third for infiltration of the upper echelons of society - intellectuals and government officials.(25) These local nationalists, in their turn, sought contact with like-minded people in their neighbourhoods and passed on instructions from Batavia. In places as far apart as Tuban, Demak and Jember local nationalists joined the underground organization.(26) Some of these nationalists were members of various political parties like Parindra, Gerindo and Partindo, but others had not aligned themselves with any political party.

The motive spurring most of the local nationalists to join the underground movement and support the Japanese was a conviction that the Indonesian people would never achieve prosperity as long as the Dutch were in power. They also believed that the Indonesians did not themselves possess the power to unseat the Dutch and that only changes in international politics could help them to reach their goal for their homeland: a free Indonesia.(27) This mixture of left and right wing ideologies among the nationalists is characteristic of their hitherto forlorn attempts to gain independence and freedom for Indonesia. The hope of changes in the international political arena was a mainstay of Gerindo, while support for the Japanese as a direct means of helping the Indonesians was more in line with the thinking of the Parindra. However, according to Nishijima, Achmad Subardjo was convinced that independence would be achieved once the Japanese landed in Java.(28)

The actual activities undertaken by the local nationalists in the period just before the outbreak of the war with Japan remain fairly obscure. Probably they did no more than encourage and stimulate anti-Dutch feelings, trying to convince the people that the Japanese would liberate them from the Dutch. They had to tread very warily because the police and the Political Intelligence Service (PID) kept a watchful eye on the nationalists, in particular on those who were suspected of having contacts in Japan. Even a prominent nationalist and member of the People's Council like Thamrin was suspected of pro-Japanese activities, and was put under house arrest shortly before he died of heart failure and malaria in January 1941.(29) The chances of being able to meet one another were very few and far between. Following the outbreak of the war in the Netherlands in May 1940, all political meetings had been banned by the Dutch government. Some nationalists involved in the underground organization managed to meet each other at the Gerindo Congress held in Batavia in October 1941,(30) but more often they met informally as friends to discuss their activities pending the advent of the Great East Asian War that would liberate them from the yoke of the Dutch.

After the declaration of war with Japan, on 8 December 1941, the first thing the Dutch government did was to arrest all the Japanese in Java, about 2,000 persons in all,(31) and to place Indonesians known to have relations with Japanese under strict police surveillance. One of Achmad Subardjo's sisters(32) and her family, who lived in Batavia, were put under house arrest, accused of harbouring sympathy for the Japanese because they had a son in Formosa and a son-in-law in Japan. Sometime later the family was taken to a camp at Cibadak, a hill station in the interior.(33) Even Indonesians who had been friendly with Japanese living in their neighbourhoods ran the risk of being arrested by the PID. The Indonesians taken into custody by the Dutch were transported to Garut on 15 January 1942, where they were liberated by the Japanese army on 11 March 1942. In all, about 600 persons accused of being pro-Japan were interned there, including 100 Chinese.(34)

The strained political climate prevailing after the outbreak of the war made it virtually impossible for the local nationalists involved in underground activities to contact each other. Their only source of information seems to have been Radio Tokyo, and this was crucial because it had been impressed on them that Radio Tokyo would issue instructions. Although the Dutch had placed a ban on listening to Radio Tokyo, they waited daily for messages from Tokyo. It was Jusuf Hasan who broadcast appeals to the people back home. He would sing Indonesia Raya and speak passionately about the country's imminent liberation by Japan.(35)

Preparations and Mounting Expectations

Once the war began, the Dutch government created facilities to help eventual victims of war among the people in the Indies. Several civil front organizations were set up by and for the Europeans, and other population groups like the Indonesians and the Chinese were given permission to form their own civil front organizations. The Indonesians set up the Penolong Korban Perang (Pekope) to help potential Indonesian victims of war.(36) Strangely enough, rather than entrust the task of forming Pekope to the Indonesian civil service, the Dutch turned to local nationalists. Enthusiasm for the civil front organization waxed strong and the Indonesian press fervently supported it.(37) This organization gave local nationalists a perfect instrument to carry out underground activities. It seems that Parindra, by far the largest party of the time with 20,000 members,(38) was especially active in setting up local Pekope branches.(39) All over the country Parindra endeavoured to organize Pekope in the kampongs, and instructed the people in what they should do if the war reached their villages. Wherever possible nationalists involved in underground activities infiltrated Pekope and sometimes, as in Semarang, succeeded in taking it over completely.(40) Although Pekope was meant for Indonesians only, in some localities Chinese seem to have joined as well. For instance, in Godong and in Salatiga Chinese are mentioned as members of this organization.(41) A Dutch civil servant in Batavia, however, saw the Pekope as nothing more than a front organization. He believed that the Indonesians were apparently already counting upon the capitulation of the Netherlands Indies, after which they would be able to take over control.(42)

It is not known if local nationalists involved in underground activities actually received any instructions from Radio Tokyo.(43) Most of their activities during the early days of the war had to do with preventing the implementation of a scorched-earth policy by the Dutch. The Dutch had formed a demolition corps to destroy vital objects like oil refineries, factories, bridges and rice-mills. The nationalists saw the scorched-earth policy as being directed more against the Indonesian people than against the Japanese. In the words of an upper middle class Indonesian woman in Batavia: "It seems that the Dutch begrudge our having their factories and bridges. Why do they want to destroy them? Those who will suffer most are the Indonesians, because the people on those burnt out estates will be without employment and will starve."(44) To spread propaganda among those Indonesians who participated in the demolition corps urging them to sabotage the orders of the Dutch was one of the priorities of the local nationalists active in the underground organization,(45) alongside the guarding of such vital targets to prevent their destruction.(46) Nationalists also urged the Indonesian soldiers serving in the local Dutch forces, the KNIL, not to fight against the Japanese. The Japanese were not fighting the Indonesians, so why should Indonesians retaliate against them? Some went so far as to exhort the soldiers to kill their commanders first.(47)

By the time Japanese troops landed in Java, a frantic atmosphere of welcome had overwhelmed the island, arising from the expectation on the part of the Indonesians that prosperity and independence, about which they had been dreaming for so many years, would soon be achieved with the help and assistance of Japan. During the landing of the Japanese army in Java on the night of 1 March 1942, all over the island planes dropped leaflets bearing the slogan, "One colour, one race", with the two flags (Japanese and Indonesian) printed on the reverse sides.(48) Members of the underground organization were given instructions to make the mark of Hinomaru, a red ball on the left palm of their hands. Should they meet Japanese soldiers, they would only have to show the symbol of the sun to let them know that they were friends.(49) But, to their disappointment, the Japanese soldiers seemed to be unaware of the meaning of the sign.(50)

In the chaotic days between the Japanese invasion of Java and the capitulation of the Dutch on 9 March 1942, local nationalists seized the opportunity to set up so-called Merdeka committees. They instructed the people to greet the Japanese with cries of "Banzai!" and to carry a handkerchief in the likeness of the Japanese flag with them. In Magelang and Jember thousands of people did indeed welcome the Japanese with cries of "Banzai", "Hidup Indonesia" and "Selamat Nippon datang".(51) Among the first to set up such committees were the nationalists involved in the underground network. As mentioned above, some committees like those in Semarang had already been formed before the Japanese invasion under the guise of Pekope. Now they lost no time in changing their designation from Pekope to Komite Indonesia Merdeka. In Blitar, Madiun, Batavia, Magelang, Semarang, Yogyakarta(52), Kroya, Kendal, Salatiga, Jember and Ambarawa committees were formed under different names, such as Komite Nasional Indonesia, Komite Indonesia Merdeka and Komite Barisan Rakyat Indonesia (Indonesian People's Army Committee). In Magelang a prominent Chinese was also asked to sit on the committee, but as a rule committee members were Indonesian.(53) Although the names differed the aims of the committees were virtually the same, to support the Japanese in order to achieve the East-Asian Co-prosperity Sphere; to destroy the power of Western nations; to maintain law and order until there was a new administration; and to recognize Dai Nippon as the leader and protector of Asia. Lurking behind these aims lay the expectation that the committees would be given a say in the local administration and the economy.

The newly-formed committees often tried in vain to maintain order among the population pending the arrival of the glorious Japanese army. They were powerless to prevent the chain of banditry, looting and arson which welled up in the wake of the Dutch scorched-earth policy and the subsequent invasion of the Japanese army. On 28 February the Dutch government gave orders to the demolition corps to do their job. All over Java bands of robbers plundered stores of food, pawn shops and depots at railway stations. They regarded Dutch and Indonesian civil servants, not to mention the Chinese as their legitimate targets. In Jombang, according to a Dutch police report, the Parindrists stirred up anti-Dutch feelings. "The natives must have no sympathy for the Dutch. They had tyrannized and exploited the Indonesian people. The Indonesians should help the Japanese to murder the Dutch."(54) In Yogyakarta the house of the Assistant Resident was attacked,(55) while in Pare the wedana had to hand over control to the local Parindrists,(56) and in Kendal, the members of the newly-formed committee also tried to seize control of the administration.(57) Even more extreme measures were taken at Kesamben, near Blitar, where men armed with cudgels and knives attacked the home of the Assistant Wedana planning to murder him, but he escaped.(58)

However, the main target of the bands were Chinese living in rural areas. In East Java all the rice mills in the vicinity of Jombang were ransacked, and Chinese men were forcibly circumcised by the Nahdatul Ulama. Chinese shops were looted and some of their owners were killed.(59) The plundering of Chinese property, factories and rice-mills also occurred in Central Java. In Demak the looting began in the Chinese kampong. One report says that the Indonesians were shot at by the Chinese who had been armed by the Dutch. Thereupon members of the underground organization arrested all the Chinese and threw them into the local prison.(60) It is striking that several nationalists involved in underground activities claimed that they had prevented the murder of hundreds of Chinese. In Ambarawa the Komite Indonesia Merdeka succeeded in preventing a clash between Indonesians and Chinese. In Godong, where about 900 Chinese were locked up in the local pawnshop, Pekope took care of them, giving them food and protection. The members of the committee of Kendal district, originally nationalists attached to the underground organization who included Parindrists and young people from the Surya Wiryawan, Parindra's Youth Association, were able to evacuate the Chinese before the looting began. This pattern was repeated in Boja where Chinese shops were plundered, but the Chinese had been evacuated to Semarang and escaped personal harm. Around Semarang as well the committee evacuated the Chinese from rural areas into the city.(61)

On 7 March 1942, 18 Japanese officers, representing the army, arrived in Semarang where they were received by the Dutch Resident and the mayor of the city. Members of the Komite Indonesia Merdeka tried in vain to join in the welcome.(62) Nor were they the only ones who complained that they were obstructed in their activities by Dutch and Indonesian civil servants, who were then still at their posts. In the eyes of the Dutch and Indonesian civil servants, these elements were not the upholders of law and order but were in fact perpetrators of the plundering and looting. Eight members of committees were arrested by the Assistant Wedana in Wates in East Java.(63) There were also arrests in Kertosono. The supporters and helpers of the Japanese army were branded robber-chiefs by the Indonesian civil servants and held responsible for the looting and arson, for which they were imprisoned.(64) The nationalists, in their turn, were convinced that the looting of Dutch and Chinese property was the consequence of the centuries of exploitation of the people. It was clear that the people hated both the Dutch government and their alleged accomplices, the Chinese. It was also obvious to them that the Indonesian civil servants, the representatives of the Dutch, did not want to submit to the Japanese, but were pretending to do so for the time being.(65)

The rivalry between the local nationalists on the one hand and the Indonesian civil service and the Chinese on the other now emerged as a leading point of friction. Under the pretext of helping to maintain law and order, nationalists staged takeovers of local administrative functions and, ostensibly to take care of the welfare of the people, Pekope and the committees attempted to get a grip on the food distribution system, which was mainly in Chinese hands. They were convinced that as soon as the Japanese controlled Indonesia they, as leaders of the people, would be chosen to improve the welfare of the people, who were still suffering from abuses under the former Dutch regime.

Illusions and Disenchantments

The Japanese invasion evoked tremendous excitement not only in the countryside of Java but also in the political centre of the island, Batavia. Here, as elsewhere, the nationalists expected not only to be liberated from Dutch imperialism but to be able to achieve independence as a consequence of the invasion. There were rumours from Semarang that in their first contacts with nationalists the Japanese officers, who arrived in Demak between 2 and 4 March, had given voice to such ideas as "We shall drive out the Dutch. You try to govern your own country".(66) Expectations that the nationalists would gain control of the administration of their country were rising high. Directly after the capitulation of the Dutch, the Japanese authorities in Batavia sought contact with some prominent nationalists in order, so it was said, to consult with them on the organization of the new administration. However, the rivalry among the nationalists increased apace with the steadily rising expectations of an Indonesia Merdeka. In the course of five days, three different blueprints for the composition of an Indonesian cabinet were proposed by the nationalists. Subardjo's name was mentioned in one of the lists as deputy-minister for Foreign Affairs, with Sudjono as secretary of state and Tadjuddin Noor as deputy-minister.(67) The Japanese authorities speedily rejected the proposals and made it quite clear that any political concessions were out of the question.(68) In his autobiography Subardjo states that, even before the landing of the Japanese, he had written a blueprint for a provisional constitution for Indonesia in conjunction with Maramis and Supomo. The blunt rejection of the proposals for a transitional Indonesian government by the Japanese army authorities made this completely irrelevant.(69) Moreover, by Ordinance no. 3, dated 20 March 1942, the Japanese authorities in Java prohibited any kind of discussion, suggestions or propaganda about the political organization of the country. Within a fortnight the disillusioned nationalists were forced to give up their dreams. Even the word Indonesia in a political sense was no longer permitted. On the same day, in Ordinance no. 4, displaying the Indonesian flag, was banned.(70) In Batavia the Japanese authorities were quick to smash the hopes and expectations of the nationalists in the centre, but it took more time to make it clear to the local nationalists in the countryside that there could not be any talk of independence and freedom for Indonesia. Ordinance no. 3 does not seem to have affected the local committees in Java directly. In the course of March and April 1942 in several other places, especially in Central Java, local nationalists freely continued to set up committees, for example, in Surakarta, Kebumen, Karanganyar, Sumpiuyuh, Probolinggo and Purworejo.(71) These committees were managed by nationalists from different nationalist parties and unions who were eager to offer their services to the Japanese. In several localities members of the Parindra took the initiative in forming committees, for instance in Bangil, where a Komite Keamanan Rakyat (People's Security Committee) was set up,(72) but elsewhere Gerindo and Partindo members were in the forefront. There were also places, such as Surakarta, where the Barisan Rakyat Indonesia (Indonesian People's Army) worked alongside the Komite Nasional Indonesia helping to maintain law and order.(73)

The Komite Indonesia Merdeka in Semarang functioned as the central organization for most of the local committees in Central Java.(74) It was subordinate to the Central Committee in Batavia, which was run by Subardjo and others. The members of the Semarang committee believed that the ban issued by the Japanese commander on the holding of meetings and the undertaking of political action did not apply to them, because the Komite Indonesia Merdeka was a working committee and not a political party or association.(75) The committee in Semarang continued its activities and even organized a conference on 21 March 1942 at which representatives from Surakarta and Yogyakarta were present. At this conference the aims of the committees were laid down: first, an independent Indonesia and second, the realization of a Greater Asia under the leadership of Japan. Moreover, the delegation decided that the Central Committee in Batavia should try to establish close contacts with the Japanese authorities there, but on the condition that the local committees would retain the right to keep in touch with the local Japanese administration. Subardjo and his committee in Batavia would be asked to set up a mediation committee, which would maintain direct contact with the supreme Japanese authorities.(76)

The working programmes of the local committees reveal a large degree of similarity. All of them recognized Dai Nippon as the leader and protector of Asia and formed contact committees to inform the Japanese commander and the civil service about their activities. Besides this, propaganda and information sections were set up in order to inform the people about the changes in the administration. Most of the committees also had an intelligence section which gathered information about arms, oil and petrol stores, Dutch soldiers who were in hiding, and the subversive activities of foreign nationals, as well as a section whose aim was to liberate the Indonesian economy from the hands of foreigners and plan a new system of economic organization.(77)

In the city of Surabaya the Parindrists arranged a meeting with a representative of the Japanese army commander during which they discussed the redivision of the provincial administration and the police, and presented an economic plan which would give Parindra the opportunity to help villagers by means of consumer co-operative societies, such as Rukung Tani, Lumbung and credit banks.(78) The Komite Nasional Indonesia in Magelang took on a security function, obtaining authorization from the Japanese Army authorities to impound goods, conduct house-searches and call on the police for help. The chairman of this committee was a member of the former Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) who had been interned for four years at Digul. Members collected arms from the town guard and searched the Dutch barracks as well as those of the military and police for arms, which they then handed over to the local Japanese army authorities.(79)

The most important aims of the nationalists, however, seem to have been to wrest local administrative authority from Indonesian civil servants and to pry the local economy out of the hands of the Chinese. Committee representatives generally operated as follows: men - usually young and sometimes armed - would use force or the threat of force to try to remove administrative officials. These takeovers were carded out under the pretext of helping to maintain law and order.(80) The same argument was used to gain control of food storage and distribution. Chinese were locked up in jails or other secure buildings, ostensibly to protect them from the fury of the people. In the meantime, committee members used their own organizations to appropriate the distribution of food and set up co-operatives. In Magelang and Semarang, the local Pekope co-ordinated the rice supply,(81) while in Krawang rice was distributed among the population and the essential components of the rice-mills, all owned by the Chinese, were removed and hidden.(82) In Blitar the Rukun Penduduk Indonesia Blitar (United Indonesian Citizens of Blitar), helped the people to organize the local economy.(83)

Within a month, however, the local Japanese authorities forced the nationalists to surrender local control of the administration to them and reinstated both Dutch and Indonesian civil servants.(84) The Indonesian civil servants and police, now supported by the Japanese, struck back at the committees, branding members as leaders of robber gangs and arresting them for disturbing the peace.(85) Parindra also found itself in deep trouble. Some of its local members in East and Central Java were arrested by the Kempeitai, accused of robbery and sowing discord in wartime. After the reinstatement of Dutch civil servants on 3 April, members of the local board of the Parindra in Malang were arrested by the Kempeitai. In all about 85 persons were taken, among them 11 Parindrists including Latuharhary who had joined the underground organization in Malang.(86) Other arrests took place in Bangil, when nine people, including prominent Parindrists and the local leader of the Arab minority, were jailed for looting Dutch and Chinese properties. In June, most of those arrested were released, but 18 people, including 15 Parindrists, remained in detention.(87)

In Surakarta, where the Komite Nasional Indonesia and the Barisan Rakyat Indonesia were embroiled in fierce competition with the Chinese civil front organization, the chairmen of both groups were arrested along with 55 youths. To the dismay of the nationalists, the Chinese civil front worked for the Japanese and guarded their offices, whereupon the nationalists accused the Chinese of manufacturing weapons and of being involved in black marketeering. To their disappointment, the Japanese did not take any notice of their accusations, and one night when a Chinese guard spied some members of the Barisan Rakyat guarding the residential neighbourhood in the city, they were arrested on suspicion of being involved in looting. They were set free some days later, with the exception of the committee chairmen who were still in jail at the beginning of May.(88)

Meanwhile, the nationalists in the political centre in Batavia, who were still confused by the measures taken by the Japanese authorities, tried to find out what was going on elsewhere in Java. Under the guise of visiting their families in Central Java, Sukarto, deputy-secretary of the GASPI (Gabungan Sarekat Sekerdja Partikulir Indonesia/Federation of Private Workers) and Hindromartono, a prominent member of the PVPN (Persatoean Vakbonden Pegawai Negeri/League of Civil Servants' Unions)(89) left Batavia at the end of March and visited several branches of the GASPI and local committees during April 1942. Afterwards Sukarto reported his findings to Subardjo. He hoped that the report would stimulate the Japanese authorities to take appropriate action and that they would gain confidence in the committees set up by the Indonesian people.(90) In this he was disappointed, for the measures taken by the Japanese authorities were quite different from those anticipated by the nationalists. The Indonesian civil service and the Indonesian police continued to be used by the Japanese, while prominent members of local committees and Parindrists remained in jail. In the eyes of the nationalists, nothing had changed since these elements were the same people who had oppressed them and the public at large before the outbreak of war.

In May 1942 the deeply chagrined committee in Semarang adjusted its objectives. Under pressure from the local Japanese authorities it admitted that Indonesia was now subject to the power of Japan, and that gaining independence did not mean winning it (that would have meant fighting), but receiving it which implied acquiescing to the wishes of Japan. The Indonesians had to prove that they possessed the necessary competence to undertake the job, otherwise they had no right to be independent. Japan wanted Indonesia to become independent under the leadership of Japan. In the opinion of the committee, however, to be independent implied first the existence of a Greater Indonesia, as expressed in the anthem Indonesia Raya, and second the right to raise the Indonesian flag. But the Japanese army decreed otherwise. The red and white Indonesian flag was banned, Indonesia Raya could not to be sung and the words Indonesia Merdeka could not be uttered. Instead, there had to be an Asia Raya (Greater Asia) under the leadership of Japan and once the goal of Indonesia Merdeka was no longer a possibility, it became obvious that the committee had to be dispensed with.(91)

It is not known when the other local committees were abolished, but it is almost certain that all surviving committees were eliminated in July 1942, when Ordinance no. 23 required all political parties and other associations to disband. One of the reasons behind this ban on committees was probably that the Japanese authorities were no longer prepared to tolerate any interference in the economic sphere. In particular, they wanted to prevent the nationalists from leading any agrarian resistance to their measures.(92) In June, the Japanese authorities had ordered the reopening of the rice-mills, and forced the rice co-operatives set up by the local committees to stop their work. Farmers had to sell their rice to the Chinese mill-owners for a fixed price. To ensure that all the rice went to the rice-mills, even the traditional pounding of rice was forbidden.(93)

Parindra was also ordered to desist from its economic activities. During the first months of the Occupation Parindra had set up shops in almost every town in Java which sold food and other related articles but only to Parindra members. After several months, when food shortages began to occur everywhere, the people could buy food in the Parindra shops but only on condition that they join the association.(94) The Japanese authorities, however, wanted to have complete control of both the food supply and the food distribution, and at the same time to disembarrass themselves of the Parindra, their most fervent supporter.

In July the Japanese authorities put Parindra under severe pressure to cease its activities immediately. At that point Parindra had still not succeeded in freeing its members arrested in April, although it had made representations about this several times. On 26 June 1942 a member from Malang went to Batavia to speak to Subardjo, who was then working in Hatta's office in the Department of Economic Affairs of the Gunseikanbu, concerning the Parindra members who were still in jail in Malang.(95) The Parindra board in Surabaya also sent representatives to Batavia for consultation with the Japanese authorities.(96) The Japanese announced that they were willing to release Parindra members on condition that the party be dissolved, and the Parindrists concerned affirm under oath ten conditions imposed by the Japanese. Besides the dissolution of the Parindra, most of these conditions referred to general matters such as submission to Dai Nippon and the ban on any kind of discussion or organization, and only two applied specifically to Parindra: namely, that the name Parindra on buildings had to be taken down and, probably the most remarkable, that in future only the Indonesian language would be permitted.(97) In view of the relatively high educational level of prominent nationalists, it is likely they used to communicate with each other in Dutch, a language that most Indonesians and Japanese had not mastered. The Parindra was dissolved as from the end of July. In August 1942 the last Parindrists still imprisoned were released.(98) By then the Japanese had the local administration and the economy completely under their control, and the influence of the nationalists in the rural areas of Java had been definitively curbed. The best that remained for them was membership of one of the many advisory councils which the Japanese authorities were to set up during the occupation.


Have we sufficient evidence to conclude that there was a kind of underground organization in Java before and during the initial stages of the war? The reports provide a picture of a loosely knit underground group, based in the first instance on the network of personal relations of Subardjo and his friends. They belonged to the upper echelons of the nationalist elite who were aspiring to gain freedom and independence for Indonesia, directly below Sukarno, Hatta and Sjahrir. Pertinently, these three prominent nationalists had been interned by the Dutch in Bengkulen and on the island of Banda respectively and were not available to lead the nationalist movement. In the eyes of the local nationalists, Subardjo and his friends were obviously the most appropriate leaders to set them on the road to freedom with the aid of Japan, being preferable to those nationalists who were involved in the Madjalis Rakyat Indonesia and other large political federations endeavouring to negotiate their freedom from the Dutch. The fact that Subardjo had been in Japan and had contacts and friends there, as did Jusuf Hasan, strengthened their position.

Under the influence of Japanese propaganda, groups of nationalists whose aim was to support Japan as a way of gaining independence for Indonesia were set up here and there. They made contact with one of Subardjo's fellow-workers who visited several of his friends in October and November 1941. There was, however, no direct contact between the members, and the different groups were unacquainted with each other before the outbreak of the war with Japan. All these small groups were looking for leaders who could give guidance in the imminent independence of Indonesia, and such leaders were Subardjo and his friends. The activities the different groups, consisting of two or at most four people, claimed to have undertaken before the war were so general - to propagate anti-Dutch sentiments and listen to Radio Tokyo - that everyone who was expecting the war could be said to have taken part. One very important instrument in making preparations for the new Indonesia was Pekope. This civil front organization provided the local nationalists with the means to make close contact with the people. Under the pretext of organizing aid to civilian war victims, they set up provisional networks to take over the local administration and economy. The bitterness of the local nationalists about the scorched-earth policy of the Dutch must be seen against this background.

During the invasion of the Japanese these different groups came to the fore and set up Merdeka committees. From that point on a kind of organization began to take shape with Subardjo as the behind-the-scenes organizer. Convinced of the imminent independence of Indonesia once the Japanese had arrived, Subardjo in collaboration with Maramis and Supomo drew up a blueprint for a provisional constitution for Indonesia. There is no evidence that Subardjo's other friends knew about this blueprint. Whatever the case may be, Subardjo and Maramis became the leaders of the Central Committee in Batavia, which functioned as a mediation group between the Japanese authorities and the local committees, at least in Central Java. Moreover, Subardjo was well-informed about the activities the local committees had undertaken in the first two months after the capitulation of the Dutch, thanks to Sukarto's report.(99) Under the pretext of supporting the Japanese, the committees then started a social revolution in order to realize their idea of a free Indonesia in which they would be the leaders assigned to guide the people to a prosperous future. In their vision there was no place in the new Indonesia for collaborators with the Dutch or for capitalists like the Chinese who had exploited the people for so long. Pending the arrival of their liberators, they took over the local administration and tried to implement their plans to control the food production and distribution.

However, within a month, the Japanese had restored the Indonesian civil servants to their posts, and thrust aside the local nationalists, who were branded as agitators and accused of disturbing the peace. Arrests followed and the bewildered nationalists, who could not believe that the former oppressors of the people had been put back in power by their putative liberators, directed their energy towards the development of food and other production co-operatives. Momentarily, the Japanese authorities turned a blind eye to nationalist activities in the agrarian sector. In view of the destruction of the estates and rice-mills by the Dutch and by plundering bands, the Japanese needed some support at least from the local nationalists to be able to secure the production and distribution of food. Besides the committees, the Japanese depended in particular on Parindra, although they did not trust it completely, and as soon as the Japanese had restored the damage to the factories and rice-mills, they ordered the Chinese to resume operations. The committees and Parindra were forced to abandon their activities in this sphere as well.

The local Merdeka committees set in motion the first social revolution in Java, a forerunner of the large-scale social revolution which erupted directly after the capitulation of Japan in August 1945. In the frantic atmosphere of freedom that seized them during the first weeks after the arrival of their assumed liberators, they gave no thought to the possibility that their revolution might be stillborn. They believed that their liberators intended to grant them political independence. After all, had the prophecy of Jayabaya not foretold that their liberators would remain for only three months? Japan's attitude to the demands of the nationalists, however, was governed by immediate plans for the exploitation of the resources and manpower of Java. The nationalists found themselves involved in a serious conflict with the Japanese authorities and the social revolution they set in motion rebounded on them.

Within four months the nationalists' aspirations had been completely crushed. The local nationalists felt badly betrayed by the Japanese refusal to grant Indonesia its independence. They had co-operated with the Japanese, having taken the latter's claim that they would grant independence to Indonesia at face value. The nationalists were expelled from the rural areas in Java and the Japanese kept a close eye on them to make sure that they did not have a chance to maintain contact with the common people. The organizations the Japanese set up during the occupation to mobilize the manpower in Java such as the Seinandan, the Keibodan, PETA and the Jawa Hokokai were put unequivocally under the control of the Indonesian civil servants, which was tantamount to being under the control of the Japanese. The nationalists were co-opted into countless advisory councils, where they bided their time waiting for the moment when they could seize freedom and independence for Indonesia.

1 An overview of anti-Dutch activities in the Netherlands East Indies before the invasion of Japan is given in E. Touwen-Bouwsma, "De Indonesische nationalisten en de oorlog met Japan: houding en reacties", in Nederlands-Indie 1942. Illusie en ontgoocheling, ed. P. Groen and E. Touwen-Bouwsma (Den Haag, SDU Uitgeverij, 1992), pp. 57-75.

2 H.J. Benda, "The Beginning of the Japanese Occupation of Java", The Far Eastern Quarterly 15 (1956): 544; B. Bouman, "Een veelzijdige waarneming. Japan in Indonesische ogen in het tijdvak 1930-1942", in Beelden van Japan in her vooroorlogse Nederlands-Indie, ed. E. Locher-Scholten (Leiden: Werkgroep Europese Expansie, State University of Leiden, 1987), p. 230.

3 See for anti-Dutch activities in Aceh, A.J. Piekaar, Atjeh en de oorlog met Japan (Den Haag: Van Hoeve, 1949). For an detailed account of the role the Japanese played in the so-called F-organization in Aceh see Fujiwara Iwaichi, "Fifth Column Work in Sumatra", in The Japanese Experience in Indonesia: Selected Memoirs of 1942-1945, ed. Anthony Reid and Oki Akira (Athens: Ohio University Monographs in International Studies, Southeast Asia Series No. 72, 1986), pp. 9-31. Benda states that among the Minangkabau there were two groups who fought against the Dutch: Indonesia Bergerak and Islam Raja. See "The Beginning of the Japanese Occupation of Java", p. 544.

4 M. Zed, Kepialangan Politik dan Revolusi: Palembang 1900-1950 (Amsterdam: Centrale Huisdrukkerij VU, 1991).

5 For more information on the Republik Gorontalo, see Republik Indonesia, Propinsi Sulawesi (Jakarta: Kementerian Penerangan, 1953), pp. 202-207.

6 G.S. Kanahele, "The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia: Prelude to Independence" (Ph.D. diss., Cornell University, 1967), pp. 17-18, 35.

7 Jusuf Hasan was a Sumatran who went to Japan in 1930 to study economics at the Meiji University, where he joined the ultra-nationalist Black Dragon Society. He was probably the most active Indonesian propagandist in Tokyo, taking part in establishing the Kainan Ryo Centre for overseas students. In 1941 he returned to Indonesia as a secret Japanese agent. See Nisjihima, "The Nationalists in Java, 1943-1945", in The Japanese Experience in Indonesia, ed. Reid and Oki, p. 262. At the end of November 1941, just before the outbreak of the war with Japan, he returned to Tokyo, where he worked with the shortwave radio transmitter of the Japanese navy to broadcast appeals to his people back home. See K. Goto, "Life and death of 'Abdul Rachman' (1906-49): One Aspect of Japanese-Indonesian Relationships", Indonesia 22 (1976): 66.

8 Nishijima had lived in Java before the war and was sympathetic to the nationalists cause. He was close friends with outstanding nationalists and spoke Malay fluently. He was one of the Japanese who had been interned by the Dutch at the outbreak of the war with Japan and was transported to Australia. In August 1942, he returned to Java where he remained in close contact with his nationalist friends.

9 Achmad Subardjo had studied at the Universities of Utrecht and Leiden. In the Netherlands, he had been an active member of the Indonesian Student Association/Perhimpunan Indonesia. He returned to Java in 1934, and earned his living as a self-employed lawyer, as he did not want to work for the Dutch government. He went to Japan in September 1935 as a correspondent for the Indonesian journal Matahari, issued in Semarang. After returning to Java in 1936, he earned a living in Bandung. In 1939 he moved to Jakarta where he arranged programmes for Radio Ketimuran, a branch of the Netherlands Indies Radio Network Company/NIROM. He also worked with Sam Ratulangi writing a newspaper column called "National Comments". He was a non-co-operative nationalist and apparently not a member of one of the nationalists parties. See A. Subardjo Djoyoadisuryo, Kesadaran Nasional, Sebuah Otobiografi (Jakarta, 1978), and Orang Indonesia yang Terkemuka di Jawa (Jogjakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press, 1986), p. 290.

10 Sudjono had been in Japan teaching Indonesian. He returned to Java with the Japanese army of invasion in Bantam. Sudjono was married to a niece of Subardjo, the daughter of one of his sisters. It was Sudjono who invited Subardjo to come to Japan in 1935. Subardjo, Kesadaran Nasional, p. 191.

11 Nishijima claims there were committees set up by Indonesians who hoped to achieve independence for Indonesia by cooperating with the Japanese. See Nishijima, "The Nationalists in Java, 1943-1945", in The Japanese Experience in Indonesia, ed. Reid and Oki, p. 262.

12 Sukarto Report, Journey through East Java, 4 May 1942. Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie [henceforth RIOD] IC: 031605-031630. See also BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2407. Strangely enough, Subardjo does not mention this organization in his autobiography, Kesadaran Nasional.

13 For a detailed overview of the attempts of the nationalists to co-operate with the Dutch government in the last year before the outbreak of the Pacific War, see S. Abeyasekere, One Hand Clapping: Indonesian Nationalists and the Dutch, 1939-1942 (Clayton, Vic: Monash Papers on Southeast Asia Number Five, 1976).

14 Report on the activities before and during the Japanese invasion in Java. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2717.

15 The Madjalis Rakyat Indonesia (M.R.I.) included the Federation of Political Parties, Gabungan Politik Indonesia (GAPI); the Federation of Islamic Unions, Madjlisoel Islamil A'laa Indonesia (M.I.A.I.); and the Trade Union for civil servants, Persatoean Vakbonden Pegawai Negeri (P.V.P.N.).

16 S. Sjahrir, Out of Exile (New York: John Day, 1949), pp. 219, 233.

17 According to a Dutch publication the effect of these broadcasts was negligible. See A Decade of Japanese Underground Activities in the Netherlands East Indies (London: HMSO, 1942), p. 15.

18 For the impact of the transmissions from Radio Tokyo, see B. Bouman, "Een veelzijdige waarneming. Japan in Indonesische ogen in het tijdvak 1930-1942", in Beelden van Japan in het vooroorlogse Nederlands-Indie, ed. E. Locher-Scholten and G.S. Kanahele, "The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia".

19 Two of them, Maramis and Tadjuddin Noor, were also mentioned by Kanahele as belonging to the fifth column in Java ("The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia", pp. 17-18). It is known that Hindromartono, a prominent member of the Persatuan Vakbonden Pegawai Negeri (P.V.P.N.), the trade union for civil servants, made a tour through Central Java in April 1942 with Sukarto, who reported to Subardjo about how the Committees Indonesia Merdeka established by then were doing (RIOD. IC: 031605-30).

20 Dr Samsi is also named by Kanahele as a member of the fifth column in Java. See "The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia", pp. 17-18.

21 Report on activities before and during the Japanese invasion of Java. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2717.

22 Subardjo, Kesadaran Nasional, p. 189.

23 See the following reports on Subardjo's organization. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2775 (Jogyakarta), 2727 (Kertosono), 2739 (Semarang).

24 Report on Subardjo's organization. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2729.

25 Report of the Komite Indonesia Merdeka for Semarang. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2739.

26 See the reports of Subardjo's organization. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2773 (Toeban), 2762 and 2769 (Djember), 2726 (Demak).

27 Report of Subardjo's organization about activities in Feb./Mar. 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2769.

28 Nishijima, "The Nationalists in Java", p. 259.

29 Thamrin's funeral was attended by more than 20,000 people and became a great mass manifestation of Indonesian nationalism, which bore a clearly anti-Dutch character. See Abeyasekere, One Hand Clapping, pp. 77-78.

30 Report of Subardjo's organization in Magelang, Feb./Mar. 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2775.

31 A Decade of Japanese Underground Activities, p. 30. The interned Japanese were transported to Australia before the capitulation of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army, the KNIL, on 9 Mar. 1942.

32 One of Subardjo's sisters was married to Dr Latip (see Subardjo, Kesadaran Nasional, p. 195). It was this family which was interned in Cibadak by the Dutch.

33 S. Suleiman, "The last days of Batavia", Indonesia 28 (1979): 56.

34 Report of Subardjo's organization in Tegal, Mar. 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2760.

35 Goto, "Life and Death of 'Abdul Rachman'", p. 66. See also Kanahele, "The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia", p. 253 n. 22.

36 R. de Bruin, Indonesie. De laatste etappe naar de vrijheid 1942-1945 (Ph.D. diss., Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1982), p. 58.

37 The Pesat of 28 January 1942 made an urgent appeal to the nationalists to join the Pekope (Persoverzichten, Januari, 1942: 1312). The journal Pesat was Gerindo oriented.

38 Review of the Indonesian political parties in 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2413.

39 Hering, "Het afscheidswoord van bet dagelijks bestuur van Parindra", Kabar Seberang 38 (1992): 58.

40 The Head of the Pekope in Semarang was Dr Boentaran, later on the chairman of the Komite Indonesia Merdeka, taking over this function from his wife. See report of the Komite Indonesia Merdeka for Semarang. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2739.

41 See the reports from Godong (BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2768) and Salatiga (BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2761).

42 Report of the Controleur, A.H.P. Regoort, in Batavia, 10 Mar. 1947. ARA.Alg.Secr.:4946.

43 One source claims that in its pre-invasion propaganda broadcasts Radio Tokyo encouraged Indonesian nationalists to form independence committees. Kanahele, "The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia", p. 258 n. 63.

44 Suleiman, "The last days of Batavia", p. 62.

45 On 28 Feb. 1942 the Dutch government gave orders for the demolition corps in Java to get on with their job.

46 How far the members of Subardjo's group succeeded in their anti-sabotage activities is not known. Several claim to have prevented the destruction of bridges and rice-mills, but they do not explain how this was accomplished.

47 Report of Subardjo's organization during the Japanese invasion in 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2729.

48 Benda, "The Beginning of the Japanese Occupation of Java", p. 545.

49 See the following reports of Subardjo's organization. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2715, 2722 and 2717.

50 There seems to have been a radio message claiming that Indonesians would not be killed by Japanese soldiers when they landed if they showed the mark of the sun on their palms. See Nishijima, "The Nationalists in Java", p. 262.

51 See reports of Subardjo's organization for Magelang (BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2775) and Demak (2726).

52 In the reports Yogyakarta is consistently called Mataram (2763). See also the report of Sukarto, 4 May 1942. RIOD.IC: 031605-031630. The name Mataram refers to the glorious days of Sultan Agung (r. 1613-46).

53 See report of Subardjo's organization in Magelang. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2775. The reason that a Chinese could join the Merdeka committee was that the person in question had not been a member of any Chinese association under the Dutch. He was more Indonesian than Chinese oriented and, moreover, he had been considered dangerous by the Dutch.

54 Report of Police Inspector Van Leeuwen in Djombang, 7 Nov. 1946. ARA.Alg. Secr.4956.

55 Report of Assistant Resident W.C. Schoevers, 7 May 1946. ARA.Alg.Secr.4952.

56 Report of the Dutch Police in Malang. ARA.Alg. Secr.4955.

57 Report of Subardjo's organization for Kendal. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2765.

58 Report on the activities in Blitar. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2722.

59 Report of Police Inspector Van Leeuwen, 7 Nov. 1946. ARA.Alg.Secr.4956.

60 Report of Subardjo's organization for Demak. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2726.

61 See the following reports of Subardjo's organization in Ambarawa (BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2721), Godong (2768), Kendal (2765), Semarang (2739).

62 Report of the Komite Indonesia Merdeka for Semarang. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2739.

63 Report of Subardjo's organization for Kediri. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2774.

64 Report of Subardjo's organization in Kertosono. BUZA.NEFIS.CMI:2727.

65 Sukarto Report, Journey through East Java, 4 May 1942. RIOD. IC: 031605-031630.

66 Report of the Komite Indonesia Merdeka for Semarang, BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2739.

67 See the confidential letter from Abikusno, 10 Mar. 1942, concerning two lists of candidates for the posts of ministers and deputy-ministers in an Indonesian government during the transitional period. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:1972. See also L. Sluimers, "Nieuwe orde op Java", Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde 124 (1968): 336-67. In an appendix Sluimers gives an overview of the three lists of ministerial candidates for the Indonesian government and their assistants.

68 This was in accordance with the Japanese blueprint for Indonesia determined during the Liaison Conference on 20 November 1941 in Tokyo, where it was stated that the Greater Indonesia Movement should be curbed as much as possible. See H.J. Benda and J.K. Irikura, Japanese Military Administration in Indonesia: Selected Documents (New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, 1965), p. 2. See also M. Nakamura, "General Imamura and the Early Period of Japanese Occupation", Indonesia 10 (1970): 5.

69 Subardjo, Kesadaran Nasional, pp. 236-37.

70 K.A. de Weerd, The Japanese Occupation of the Netherlands Indies. RIOD. IC: 032759.

71 These committees are mentioned in Sukarto's report. He visited them during his trip through Central Java in April 1942. Some of the committees were formed as late as the end of that month. RIOD. IC: 031605-031630.

72 The Parindra at the Beginning of the Japanese Occupation. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2405.

73 Sukarto Report, 4 May 1942. RIOD. IC: 031605-031630.

74 The chairman of the committee in Semarang was Dr. Boentaran (see note 40 above), a member of Subardjo's organization. Besides him there were six other board members.

75 Report of the Komite Indonesia Merdeka for Semarang, 19 May 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2739.

76 Komite Nasional Indonesia in Semarang, 21 Mar. 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2738.

77 Sukarto Report, 4 May 1942. RIOD. IC: 031605-031630.

78 Hering, "Het afscheidswoord van het dagelijks bestuur van Parindra", Kabar Seberang (1992): 60, 63.

79 Report of Subardjo's organization for Magelang, Feb.-Mar. 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2775.

80 See Kanahele, "The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia", pp. 28-29.

81 For Magelang, see BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2775 and for Semarang, BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2739.

82 For Krawang, see BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2711.

83 For Blitar, see BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2771. After the Japanese had taken measures against the activities of the committees and their organizations in July 1942, the ROEPIB took care of the support for the unemployed Indonesians and set up a committee to organize economic requirements of the Japanese.

84 In Subang the nationalists had to turn over the local administration to the Indonesian civil servants within one week. See Report on the activities for Subang in March 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2712.

85 Many who could not produce a certificate from the Japanese army were arrested and put in jail. A member of the committee in Kertosono reported that he had been arrested by the Dutch commander of the field police at the end of March. Thanks to his friends, who worked with the Kempeitai, he was released from prison on 29 April 1942. he had been arrested on charges of disturbing peace. See the Report of Subardjo's organization in Kertosono. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2727. According to Kanahele the arrests of nationalists may have been largely due to a misunderstanding on the part of the Kempeitai, rather than any hostile opposition ("The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia", p. 43). But this is only partly correct. It was the Indonesian civil servants in conjunction with the former Dutch PID (Political Intelligence Service), the opponents of the nationalists, who informed the Kempeitai about disturbers of peace.

86 See Kanahele, "The Japanese Occupation of Indonesia", p. 267 n. 18.

87 Parindra in the beginning of the Japanese occupation. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2405.

88 Sukarto Report, 4 May 1942. RIOD. IC: 031605-031630.

89 Hindromartono was not in Java during the Japanese invasion. He remained in New York, where he was a member of the Dutch delegation attending the Labour Conference as technical adviser on the interests of the Indonesians. He returned to Java shortly after the surrender of the Dutch. So he had good reasons for visiting his family. See Orang Indonesia yang Terkemuka di Jawa, p. 10.

90 Sukarto Report, 4 May 1942. RIOD. IC: 031605-031630.

91 Report of the Komite Indonesia Merdeka for Semarang, 19 May 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2739.

92 See also L. Sluimers, "De Japanse bezettingspolitiek en de Indonesische elites 1942-1943", Bijdragen tot de taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde 124 (1968): 364.

93 Report of Winarno Danoeatmodjo, Semarang, Aug. 1942. RIOD. IC: 039581.

94 Report of Police Inspector Van Leeuwen in Jombang, Soerabaya, 7 Nov. 1946. ARA. Alg. Secr.:4946.

95 Report of Subardjo's organization for Malang, Feb.-Mar. 1942. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2771.

96 Hering, "Het afscheidswoord van het dagelijks bestuur", p. 63.

97 Parindra in the beginning of the Japanese occupation. BUZA.NEFIS/CMI:2405.

98 Hering, "Het afscheidswoord van het dagelijks bestuur", p. 63.

99 Sukarto Report, 4 May 1942. RIOD. IC: 031605-031630.
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Title Annotation:The Japanese Occupation in Southeast Asia
Author:Touwen-Bouwsma, Elly
Publication:Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Date:Mar 1, 1996
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