The Japanese Occupation of Borneo, 1941-45
By Ooi Keat Gin
Routledge – 2010 – 200 pages
The Japanese occupation of both British Borneo – Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo – and Dutch Borneo in 1941 to 1945 is a much understudied subject. Of particular interest is the occupation of Dutch Borneo, governed by the Imperial Japanese Navy that had long-term plans for ‘permanent possession’. This book surveys Borneo under Western colonialism, examines pre-war Japanese interests in Borneo, and analyses the Japanese military invasion and occupation. It goes on to consider the nature of Japanese rule in Borneo, contrasting the different regimes of the Imperial Japanese Army, which ruled the north, and the Navy. A wide range of issues are discussed, including the incorporation of the economy in the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere and the effects of this on Borneo’s economy. The book also covers issues such as the relationship with the various indigenous inhabitants, with Islam and the Muslim community, and the Chinese, as well as topics of acculturation and propaganda, and major uprisings and mass executions. It examines the impact of the wartime conditions and policies on the local multiethnic peoples and their responses, providing an invaluable contribution to the greater understanding of the significance of the wartime Japanese occupation in the historical development of Borneo.
"Known for editing a landmark encyclopedia on Southeast Asia, in this work Ooi Keat Gin focuses upon a specific place at a specific time, namely the Japanese wartime occupation of the island of Borneo… To his great merit, Ooi has written one of the best recent detailed studies on the occupation of one part of Southeast Asia, drawing upon a wealth of research and revealing great skill in handling archival sources as well as making sense of this sorry episode in modern history." - Geoffrey Gunn, Nagasaki University; Journal of Contemporary Asia, 43:2, 379-381
1. Introduction 2. Prewar Borneo 3. On the Road to War 4. The Japanese Invasion and Occupation of Bornoe 5. The Partition of Borneo 6. Kita Boruneo 7. Minami Boruneo 8. Opposition and Response 9. Between Generals and Admirals 10. End of a Era 11. Concluding Remarks
Ooi Keat Gin is Professor of History in the School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (London, UK) and formerly of the Faculty of Politics and International Studies, University of Hull (Hull, UK). He is the author of numerous books and articles, including World beyond the Rivers (1996) and From Colonial Outpost to Cosmopolitan Centre (2002). He is the editor of the critically acclaimed Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, 3 vols. (ABC-Clio, 2004). He is also the chief editor of the International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies (IJAPS) and serves as series editor of the APRU-USM Asia Pacific Studies Publications Series (AAPSPS).