Some Aspects of Indonesian Politics under the Japanese Occupation: 1944-1945

Some Aspects of Indonesian Politics under the Japanese Occupation: 1944-1945

Some Aspects of Indonesian Politics under the Japanese Occupation: 1944-1945

Some Aspects of Indonesian Politics under the Japanese Occupation: 1944-1945

Excerpt

There are many problems that confront anyone trying to assess the meaning of the later stages of the Japanese Occupation of Indonesia, as they have been recorded by those who participated in them. There is the serious difficulty of distinguishing between rival claims to the triumphs and glories of the Revolution: the Declaration of Independence, the building of the new state, and the generation of the Revolutionary Spirit. In the records that they have left us, the Japanese, the senior Indonesian nationalist leadership, and the “youth groups” have each claimed preeminence for their own roles. Natural ambition and love of glory would in any case impel those participating in the birth of a revolution to emphasize their own share in its conception. But unluckily, many of the accounts that we have were also written at a time when political rivalries and discord had reached a point where the temptation was strong not simply to embellish one’s own past, but to blacken that of others. The Japanese, for obvious reasons, were unwilling, in the early years after the war, to reveal very much of their activities under the occupation. It is only in the last few years that they have advanced their claims at all, though certain Dutchmen had long been willing to assign them a major role in the germination of the revolution, sometimes even beyond their due.

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