Japanese Empire in the Tropics: Selected Documents and Reports of the Japanese Period in Sarawak, Northwest Borneo, 1941-1945

Japanese Empire in the Tropics: Selected Documents and Reports of the Japanese Period in Sarawak, Northwest Borneo, 1941-1945

Japanese Empire in the Tropics: Selected Documents and Reports of the Japanese Period in Sarawak, Northwest Borneo, 1941-1945

Japanese Empire in the Tropics: Selected Documents and Reports of the Japanese Period in Sarawak, Northwest Borneo, 1941-1945

Synopsis

Although the Japanese interregnum was brief, its dramatic commencement and equally dramatic conclusion represented a watershed in the history of the young state of Sarawak.

In recent years, there has been a groundswell of interest in the war years, culminating in an attempt at reassessment of the Japanese occupation in Southeast Asia by Western and Japanese scholars as well as by those from Southeast Asia.

Presented here in a two-volume edition is a history of the Japanese occupation of Sarawak narrated through the compelling testimonies of the actual participants based on their recollections, memoirs, and correspondence.

Excerpt

Sarawak occupies the northwestern portion of the island of Borneo, sharing its borders to the northeast with Sabah (formerly British North Borneo), a fellow member state of the Federation of Malaysia, and Negara Brunei Darrusalam, and to the southeast and southwest with Indonesian Kalimantan (formerly Dutch Borneo). Sarawak is some 124,485 square kilometers (48,250 square miles) and constitutes about 38 percent of the total area of Malaysia. Despite its large land area, its present population is less than 7.5 percent of the total population of Malaysia.

Topographically Sarawak is divided into three distinct units: an alluvial and swampy coastal plain, a broad belt of undulating hilly terrain, and a rugged and mountainous interior rising above 1,200 meters (4,000 feet). The rivers flowing into the South China Sea form a myriad drainage network crisscrossing the country. Rivers and streams are the natural highways and the most important means of transport and communications, particularly in the inland regions. Three quarters of the country is under dense tropical rainforest, with large areas still inaccessible.

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