History, The Japanese Occupation
Sukarno, Sumatra, Bali, nucleus, Java
In 1942 the Japanese invaded and occupied Indonesia. Anxious to mobilize Indonesian support behind their regime, the Japanese gave Sukarno and his associates symbolic political freedom. The Japanese regime was repressive, however, because they had strategic concerns about Indonesian resources, particularly petroleum, and because they feared Allied counterattacks. They forced tens of thousands of people into conscripted labor and many did not survive.
In September 1943 the Japanese established militias in Java, Bali, and Sumatra, giving thousands of young men military training and forming the nucleus of the postwar independence army. In October 1944, in order to muster support against anticipated Allied attacks, the Japanese promised eventual Indonesian independence and subsequently offered limited self-government. Throughout most of the occupation, however, Japanís harsh behavior and the growing economic hardships alienated Indonesians.
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