Indonesian History

Which country did Indonesia get its independence from?



Independence from Japan.

Today, August 17 (Saturday) is Indonesia's 74th Independence Day, and there will be commemorative ceremonies at public institutions and schools, the residential areas will be filled with a "Lomba Makan Kerupuk" competition, and drinks will be half-priced at Starbucks.

By the way, for those who work in Indonesia, this may be the basic common sense

  • From which country did Indonesia become independent?

In response to this question, there are those who say that the independence from the Netherlands was unexpectedly achieved, while others say that it was a liberation from the military regime of the Empire of Japan, and others say that no particular country was important and that it was an independence from colonial rule based on imperialism.

Incidentally, I thought of myself as completely independent from Japan. I mean, if you look at the chronology, Indonesia was under Japanese military rule on August 17, 1945, so it's clear that Independence Day is independence from Japan.

  • 1602: Dutch East Indies become part of the East India Company.
  • February 1943: The Japanese invasion causes the collapse of Dutch colonial rule and the country falls under Japanese military rule.
  • August 12, 1945: Sukarno Hatta gets a pledge from Hisaichi Terauchi, commander-in-chief of the Southern Army of the Imperial Japanese Army, to be independent at any time of the day.
  • August 15, 1945: The anniversary of the end of the war in Japan - the day the Emperor announced his acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration in a broadcast.
  • August 16, 1945: Major General Maeda, a military officer serving in Jakarta, receives Sukarno and Hatta at his official residence to discuss the Indonesian Declaration of Independence. A draft Declaration of Independence was drafted by the Preparatory Commission for Independence.
  • August 17, 1945: The Indonesian Declaration of Independence is read at 56 East Pegansaan Street, Central Jakarta (Soekarno Mansion) .
  • 1945: War of Independence against the re-emerging Dutch and British armies
  • 1949: Independence in both name and substance.

Not a bread-eating contest, but a Krupuk-eating contest

However, every August, the red and white Indonesian flag Sang Merah Putih stands out in the city, preparations are underway for commemorative events to be held at government offices and schools on the 17th, and patriotic songs celebrating independence are played on TV. I don't see the point of view that "we won independence from Japan" in all the brave shouting.

There is an old video of the Japanese invasion of Indonesia (to march into the territory of another country and stay there), but I don't feel any confrontation between "Indonesia is a victim" and "Japan is a perpetrator" such as "Banzai for independence from the military regime of the Japanese Empire", and I have never heard any anti-Japanese slogans.

As for me, I don't care if Indonesia's independence came from Japan, the Netherlands, or colonialism, but I try not to forget the fact that my predecessors were stationed in Indonesia for three and a half years until 74 years ago, and I try not to forget the humble feeling that I, as a descendant of those predecessors, am grateful to be allowed to work in that country now.


I would recommend this novel to Japanese people living in Indonesia.

On the other hand, I am fed up with the one-sided assertion that the southern campaign of the Japanese Empire was not a war of aggression but the liberation of Asia from colonialism.

The wounds inflicted on the people of Indonesia by the war of aggression of the Japanese Empire are not justified, and post-war reparations at the national level are naturally necessary, which is why the Japan-Indonesia Peace Treaty was concluded in 1958.

The story of the business battle between a Japanese trading company and the Sukarno regime over the reparations trade is written by Yusuke Fukada in "The Merchant of the Garuda," which can be said to be the bible for Japanese people involved in Indonesia.

The Imperial Year was used in the Declaration of Independence rather than the A.D.

When I first came to Indonesia, a karaoke shop lady told me

  • I mean, the three and a half years of Japanese rule was more frustrating than the 350 years of Dutch colonial rule.

I was at a loss as to whether I should smile or apologize.


The Declaration of Independence was printed on Rp 100,000 notes of the old design.

If you were to ask me whether the southern campaign by the Japanese to Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, was a war of aggression or a war of liberation, I would say that the aggression to secure oil resources resulted in liberation from Europe.

As a result, I think the promotion of Indonesian independence should be evaluated as a positive legacy of the Japanese military regime, but I think we should refrain from saying from the mouth of the Japanese that it can erase the negative legacy of forced labor, which was so severe that it gave rise to the Indonesian language of romusha, and the coercion of Japanese language and culture, such as the Japanese language and imperialism.

I understand that there are emotions on the side of an invaded country that the invading side cannot imagine, and if a lady at a karaoke shop told me that Japan's rule was severe, I would not be inclined to argue with her.

However, it is a certain historical fact that 74 years ago at this time, the Imperial Japanese Army before and after the defeat of the war, and the Preparatory Commission for Independence, whose main members were Soekarno and Hatta, were united in the direction of advancing Indonesia's independence.

On August 17, 1945, the Declaration of Independence was to be read out in front of Sukarno's residence, and the year of the date of the Declaration of Independence, which also became the design of the 100,000 rupiah note, is "05", which means the year 2605 of the imperial era.


  • Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menyatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.
    Hal-hal yang mengenai pemindahan kekuasaan d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempo yang sesingkat-singkatnya.
    Djakarta, hari 17 bulan 8 tahun 05
    Atas nama bangsa Indonesia,


  • We, the people of Indonesia, do hereby proclaim the independence of Indonesia.
    Delegation of power and other matters shall be carried out completely and as quickly as possible.
    Jakarta, August 17, 2005.
    In the name of the Indonesian people.
    Sukarno / Hatta

Although the Koki, which is dated from 660 B.C., the first year of the ascension of Japan's first emperor, Emperor Jinmu, as described in the Nihon Shoki, was enforced in Indonesia under the Japanese military regime at that time, the fact that it is adopted as the date of Indonesia's Declaration of Independence suggests that the relationship between the Imperial Army and the Independence Preparatory Committee at that time was not simply a conflict between a ruler and a subjugated ruler.

Independence from colonial rule.

Bumi Manusia(人間の大地)

From youtube

The other day I went to see Bumi Manusia (The Human Earth) at a cinema in West Bekasi, which had just been released in theaters.

Human Earth" is the first part of the best movie "Buru Island 4 series" by the original author Pramoedya, and the 181-minute epic is only Rp.25,000.

Plumdia was imprisoned as a political prisoner for his alleged ties to the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI = Partai Komunis Indonesia), and his work was banned under the Suharto regime, but he was released after the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998, and his work was praised around the world, and he was even called a leading candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature in Asia.

It is difficult for the Japanese to imagine a big theme of the establishment of the identity and awakening of nationalism of the Javanese protagonist who fights against the absurdity of discrimination and prejudice in the society and law under colonial rule, and struggles to regain his rights as a human being and national pride from the ruler's side.

For Indonesia, independence, even if chronologically it is independence from Japan, is the victory of nationalism formed during 350 years of colonial rule by the Netherlands and three and a half years of Japanese military rule, or, in Ozaki Yutaka's words, "independence from domination.

It was an independence that the Indonesians themselves won after nearly 400 years of domination, and it just happened to be under Japanese militarization on August 17, 1945. I think it's because of this historical background that Japanese people don't feel particularly awkward on August 17 every year, despite the fact that it was independence from Japan.

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