1. Entry of Japan into Indonesia

Of course, you still remember that Japan easily succeeded in controlling the regions of East Asia and Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. Why is that? Because:

  1. Japan has succeeded in destroying the United States Naval base at Pearl
    Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941;
  2. The mother countries (England, France and the Netherlands) are facing war in Europe
    against Germany;
  3. The nations of Asia really believe in the Japanese motto (Japan is the leader of Asia, Japan is the light of Asia, and Japan is the protector of Asia) so they did not offer resistance. In fact, the presence of the Japanese Army was greeted with joy because Japan was considered the 'older brother' who would liberate Asian nations from the shackles of colonialism by Western countries.


Officially Japan has controlled Indonesia since March 8, 1942, when the Supreme Commander of the Dutch East Indies Government surrendered unconditionally in Kalijati, Bandung. Japan without much resistance, which means managed to occupy Indonesia. In fact, the Indonesian people welcomed the arrival of the Japanese troops with a feeling of joy, a feeling of joy because they would liberate the Indonesian people from the shackles of Dutch colonialism.

In fact, the motto of the 3A Movement and the recognition as 'older brothers' conveyed by the Japanese was a ruse so that the Indonesian people could accept the arrival of the Japanese Army. At first, the arrival of Japanese troops was warmly welcomed by the Indonesian people. But in reality, Japan is not much different from other imperialist countries. Japan is a new imperialist country, like Germany and Italy. As a new imperialist country, Japan needed raw materials to meet its industrial needs and markets for industrial goods. Therefore, the colonies became very important for the advancement of Japanese industry. What is the meaning of industrial progress if it is not supported by sufficient raw materials at low prices and a broad market for industrial goods.

Thus, it is clear that the purpose of the arrival of the Japanese Army to Indonesia was to instill their power, to colonize Indonesia. This means that the motto of the 3A Movement and its recognition as 'older brother' is a slogan that is full of falsehoods. This can be proven from several facts that occurred during the occupation of the Japanese Army in Indonesia. In fact, the treatment of the Japanese troops was more cruel so that the Indonesian people experienced misery.

Economic resources are tightly controlled by Japanese troops to

Japan's wartime and industrial interests, in the following ways:

  1. Not a few youths were arrested and made romusha. Romusha was forced labor taken from youths and farmers to work forcibly on projects developed by the Japanese occupation government. Many of our people died while carrying out romusha, because in general they suffered from hunger and various diseases. Farmers were strictly monitored and agricultural products had to be handed over to the Japanese Army government.
  2. Residents' pets were forcibly confiscated to be slaughtered to meet
    war consumption needs.
2. Japanese Occupation Government Policy

After occupying Indonesia, Japan took various policies. The policies of the Government of the Japanese Armed Forces, covering various fields, among others.

a. The field of economics

1. Expansion of rice fields. After occupying Indonesia, Japan saw that rice production would not be able to meet demand. Therefore, it is necessary to expand the rice field area to increase rice production. Nonetheless, food production between 1941-1944 continued to decline.


2. Supervision of agriculture and plantations. Agricultural implementation is closely monitored with the aim of controlling the prices of goods, especially rice. Agricultural produce was arranged as follows: 40% for farmers, 30% had to be sold to the Japanese government at a very low price, and 30% had to be handed over to the 'village granary'. This provision is very detrimental to farmers and those who dare to violate it will be severely punished. The body that deals with violations is called the Kempetai (Military Police Corps), a body that the people are very afraid of.

        Supervision of plantation production is carried out strictly . Japan only allows two types of plantation crops , namely rubber and quinine. Both types of plants are directly related to the interests of war. While tobacco, tea, coffee must be stopped from growing because they are only related to pleasure. In fact, the three types of plants that are very salable in the world market. Thus, the Japanese government's policies in the economic field are very detrimental to the people.

        Deployment of economic resources for the benefit of war. To control agricultural products and the wealth of the population, Japan always argued that it was for the sake of war. Each resident must surrender his wealth to the Japanese government. The people must surrender valuables (gold and diamonds), animals, foodstuffs to the Japanese government. To expedite their business activities, Japan formed the Jawa Hokokai (Javanese People's Service) and Nogyo Kumiai (Agricultural Cooperative).

        The policies of the Japanese government in the economic field have made the lives of the Indonesian people even more miserable and full of suffering. The suffering and misery of the Indonesian people during the Japanese occupation was worse when compared to the suffering and misery during the Dutch colonial period. In fact, Japan occupied Indonesia for only three and a half years, while the Dutch colonized Indonesia for three and a half centuries.

b. The field of government

Basically the Japanese occupation government was a very dictatorial military government. To control the situation, the government is divided into several parts. Java and Madura were ruled by the 16th Army with its headquarters in Jakarta (formerly Batavia). Sumatra is ruled by the 25th Army with its headquarters in Bukittinggi (Sumbar). Meanwhile, the eastern part of Indonesia is ruled by the 2nd Army ( Navy ) with its center in Makassar (South Sulawesi). Force Government Land is called Gunseibu, and the government of the Navy is called Minseibu.


Each area is divided into several smaller areas. Initially, Java was divided into three provinces (West Java, Central Java and East Java) as well as two special regions, namely Yogyakarta and Surakarta. This division was considered ineffective so it was abolished. Finally, Java was divided into 17 residencies (Syu) and ruled by a Resident (Syucokan). The residency consists of municipalities (Syi), districts (Ken), kawedanan or districts (Gun), sub-districts (Son), and villages (Ku). Sumatra is divided into 10 residencies and several sub-districts (Bunsyu), districts and sub-districts. Meanwhile, the eastern part of Indonesia controlled by the Japanese Navy was divided into three jurisdictions, namely: Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Seram (Maluku and Papua).


Each area is divided into residencies , districts, sub-districts (Bunken), districts and sub-districts. The division of areas as above was intended so that all regions could be supervised and controlled for the benefit of the Japanese army government . However, to run an effective government requires a large number of personnel (employees). Whereas the number of Japanese people in Indonesia was not sufficient to meet the demand for personnel in the government sector. To oversee and run the government effectively is a tough challenge because of the limited number of employees or people who can be trusted to hold important positions in the government.

To overcome the shortage of employees, the Japanese government can take several options, including:

  1. Utilizing the Dutch people who are still in Indonesia. This option was highly unlikely because the Japanese were instilling anti- Dutch attitudes among the Indonesian population .
  2. Using Foreign East (China) power. This choice was also very difficult because China was seen as Japan's most dangerous political opponent in realizing Japan's ideals, namely building a Greater East Asia.
  3. Take advantage of the Indonesian population. This option is considered the most realistic because it is in accordance with the motto 'Japan is an elder brother' who wants to liberate his young brother from the shackles of European colonialism. Apart from that, the use of the Indonesian nation as an excuse so that the Indonesian people were really willing to help win the war that was being waged by Japan.

Actually, the above choices are not mutually beneficial. Finally, with various considerations (even forced) Japan chose Indonesian residents to help run the wheels of government. Japan also had to hand over several positions to Indonesians . For example, the Department of Religious Affairs is led by Prof. Husein Djajadiningrat, as well as Mas Sutardjo Kartohadikusumo and RMTA Surio as Residents of Jakarta and Residents of Bojonegoro. In addition, several national figures who have been trusted to Participating in running the wheels of government are Ir. Sukarno, Mr. Kelvin, dr. Abdul Rashid, Prof. Dr. Supomo, Mochtar bin King Mangkunegoro, Mr. Muh, Yamin, Prawoto Sumodilogo, and so on. In fact, the opportunity to sit in the Central Advisory Board (Chuo Sangi In), a kind of Volksraad during the Dutch era, was increasingly open.

The opportunity to occupy several positions in the Japanese government and run the government was a valuable experience for the Indonesian people, especially after Indonesia's independence. As an independent nation, the Indonesian people must be able to run the government properly. Therefore, the experience during the Japanese government was a very useful capital because the Indonesian nation had the ability to manage large organizations such as the state.

c. Military field

Since the beginning of its occupation, Japan has always tried to win the hearts of the Indonesian people to be willing to help the Japanese government in an effort to win the war against the Allies. The Indonesian nation is almost always involved in various military and semi- military organizations.

Several military organizations formed by the Japanese government, including:

  1. Heiho (Japanese soldier's assistant) was a military unit formed by the Japanese government which consisted of Indonesian youths. Heiho became part of the Japanese Army and Navy. Heiho members received military training so they could replace Japanese soldiers in war. Heiho members receive training in the use of weapons (anti-aircraft guns, tanks, field artillery, driving, etc.). However, none of the Heiho members held the rank of officer. The rank of officer is only intended for Japanese people. The members of Heiho received military training. For this reason, the Japanese government assigned a special section from the intelligence section to train paramilitaries Heyho members. The exercise was led by Lieutenant Yana-gawa with the aim that Indonesian youths could carry out intelligence tasks.
  2. Defenders of the Homeland (PETA) was formed on October 3, 1943. Towards the end of the 2nd batch of military training, an order was issued to form PETA. However, Lt. Gen. Kamakici Harada decided that the establishment of PETA was not an initiative of the Japanese government, but of the Indonesian nation. For this reason, an Indonesian man with a nationalist spirit was sought to lead PETA. Finally, the Japanese Army government asked Gatot Mangunpraja (a nationalist who sympathized with Japan) to write a request to form a PETA army. The application letter was sent on September 7, 1943 and the request was granted by issuing a regulation called Osamu Seirei No. 44, date October 3 , 1943. The establishment of PETA attracted the attention of Indonesian youths , especially those who had received high school education and Seinendan members . PETA membership is distinguished by several different ranks (actually not ranks, but job titles). There are five kinds of ranks, namely: (1) Daidanco ( Battalion Commander), (2) Cudanco (Company Commander), (3) Shudanco (Platoon Commander), (4) Budanco (Team Commander), and (5) Giyuhei (Soldier Volunteer).

Daidanco (Battalion Commanders) were chosen from prominent community figures such as government officials , religious leaders , civil servants , politicians , law enforcers , and so on. Cudanco (Company Commander) was chosen from among those who were working but did not yet have high positions such as teachers, clerks, and so on. Shudanco (Platoon Commanders) are usually selected from junior and senior high school students. Budanco (Team Commander) and Giyuhei (Voluntary Soldier) were selected from elementary school students.

        The youth who are members of PETA can be divided into three, namely; (1) those who become PETA members with high enthusiasm, (2) those who become PETA members because they are influenced by other people, and (3) those who become PETA members with indifferent feelings . Some of them thought that Japan's victory in the Pacific War would change the lives of the Indonesian people, namely as an independent nation. Besides that, there were those who believed in Joyoboyo's prediction that Japan would leave Indonesia and Indonesia would become an independent country. For this reason, Indonesia needs troops to secure its territory.

        PETA members received military education in Bogor at the Java institution Boei Giyugun Kanbu Renseitai (Voluntary Defense Forces Defenders of the Homeland Training Corps in Java). The name of the institution was later changed to Jawa Boei Giyugun Kanbu Kyoikutai (Educational Corps of Leaders of the Volunteer Defense Forces of the Motherland in Java). After receiving an education, they were placed with daidans spread across Java, Madura and Bali. In its development, some PETA members began to be disappointed with the Japanese Army government . The disappointment led to the outbreak of rebellion. Rebellion The biggest PETA took place in Blitar on February 14, 1945 led by Supriyadi. The rebellion was triggered by the cruelty of the Japanese in treating the youths who were used as romusha workers

    The semi-military organizations formed by Japan include;

  1. The 3A Movement (Japan Leads Asia, Japan Shines Asia, and Japan Protects Asia) is a social organization that aims to accommodate the Indonesian people so that it is easier to manage them, especially to achieve Japan's goals. The 3A movement led by Mr. Syamsuddin, aims:
    1. Gathering the Indonesian nation to serve the interests of Japan
    2. Propaganda of Japan's victory.
    3. Plant anti-Western, especially the Netherlands, England, and the USA
  2. Center for People's Power (Putera). Putera was formed to replace the 3A Movement. This organization was formed with the aim of increasing the spirit of the Indonesian people in assisting the Japanese government in the war against the Allies. Putera was founded on March 1, 1943 led by Ir. Sukarno, Drs. Moh. Hatta, Ki Hajar Dewantoro, and Kyai Haji Mansyur. Why did Japan choose famous and influential figures to lead Putera? However, the leaders of the national movement wanted to use the Son as a means of struggle. This intention was known by the Japanese so that the organization was disbanded in 1944. Thus, the intention to form Putera could not achieve the desired results.
  3. Jawa Hokokai ( Javanese People's Service). This organization was formed in 1944, after the position of Japanese troops was increasingly pressured. The aim was to move all Indonesian people to serve Japan. As a sign that the people are truly devoted, the people must be willing to sacrifice, both property and body and soul for the benefit of the Japanese war. The Indonesian people had to surrender gold, diamonds and all their possessions (especially rice) for war purposes.
As a result, poverty is rampant everywhere, people only wear gunny sacks, many people die of hunger. The people were educated/trained in the military to strengthen Indonesia's defense when it was attacked by the Allies . The people were forced to carry out forced labor to build military barracks. People are forced to become romusha.

d. Social sector

One of the policies that is quite important in the social field is the class division of society as in the Dutch era . Society is only distinguished into 'older brothers ' (Japan) and 'younger brothers' (Indonesia). Meanwhile, residents of the foreign East, especially Chinese, are a group of people who are highly suspected because in their ancestral country the Chinese have been make it difficult for the Japanese people to realize their ideals. This is in accordance with the Japanese propaganda that 'Asia for Asians'. But in reality, Indonesia is not for Asians , but for the Japanese. To achieve its goals, Japan issued several policies in the social sector, such as:

  1. Formation of Rukun Tetangga (RT). To facilitate monitoring and mobilization of the population, the Japanese government formed Tanarigumi (RT). At that time, Japan needed enormous manpower to build fortifications , makeshift airfields, roads and bridges . The mobilization of the community is felt by the existence of Kinrooishi (community work that is similar to forced labor). Therefore, the formation of RT is seen as very effective for deploying and supervising community activities .
  2. Romusha is the deployment of forced labor to help with tasks that must be carried out by Japan. At first, romusha was carried out voluntarily, but over time it was carried out by force. In fact, each village is required to provide a certain number of workers. This was understandable because the Japanese war area was getting wider. Romusha workers were sent to several areas in Indonesia, some were even sent to Malaysia, Myanmar, Sarawak, Thailand and Vietnam. The romusha workers were treated harshly by the Japanese Army . They are forced to work hard without getting food, drinks, and proper health insurance. The Japanese cruelty towards romusha forces caused young people to try to avoid being used as romusha workers. Finally, Japan found it difficult to meet its brute force needs
  3. Education. During the Japanese era, education underwent changes. Elementary Schools (Gokumin Gakko) are intended for all members of society regardless of their social status. This education is taken for six years. Middle schools are divided into two, namely: Shoto Chu Gakko (junior high school) and Chu Gakko (high school). In addition, there is a Carpentry School (Kogyo Gakko), a Technical Middle School (Kogyo Sermon Gakko), and a Teacher's School which is divided into three levels. Two-year Teacher School (Syoto Sihan Gakko), four-year Teacher School (Guto Sihan Gakko), and two-year Teacher School (Koto Sihan Gakko). As in the Dutch era, Japan did not organize a university education level. There are only the College of Medicine (Ika Dai Gakko) in Jakarta, the College of Engineering (Kagyo Dai Gakko) in Bandung. The two High Schools are a continuation of the Dutch era. To prepare civil service cadres, the Civil Service High School (Kenkoku Gakuin) was held in Jakarta
  4. Use of Indonesian . According to Prof. Dr. A. Teeuw (a Dutch expert on Indonesian language ) that the Japanese occupation was a historical period for Indonesian . In 1942, the Japanese occupation government banned the use of Dutch and replaced it with Indonesian. In fact, in 1943 all writing in Dutch was abolished and replaced with writing in Indonesian. Indonesian is not only a social language, but has become the official language in government agencies and educational institutions. Since then, many literary works have been written in Indonesian, such as Armin Pane's work entitled We Are Women (1943), Djinak-djinak Pigeons, Ghosts of Women (1944), Items Not Worthy (1945), and so on. Other authors, such as Abu Hanifah, who is better known by the pseudonym El Hakim with his works entitled Typhoon above the Wind, Dewi Reni, and Insan Kamil. In addition, the famous poet during the Japanese occupation, Chairil Anwar, who received the title of Batch of '45 figure with his work: Aku, Kerawang Bekasi, and so on.

Thus, the Japanese occupation government gave freedom to the Indonesian people to use and develop Indonesian as the language of instruction, language of communication, official language, language of writing, and so on. Indonesian has also spread to all corners of the country.

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