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Chapter 4

JAPANESE OCCUPATION
OF BRUNEI (1941 – 1945)

“And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but
transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the
transgressors.”
Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 190
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4.1 THE JAPANESE INVASION OF SOUTHEAST ASIA

One reason given


by the Japanese
for the invasion of
Asia was that they
wanted to free the
Asian nations
from colonial rule

Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia


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4.2 THE COMING OF THE JAPANESE IN BRUNEI

• Before the invasion, the Japanese


had sent spies to Brunei
• During the war, these spies acted
as guides to the invading army

• 16 December 1941: Japanese army landed in Kuala


Belait
• 22 December 1941: Police headquarters and
government offices in Brunei Town captured
• After this, the Japanese army advanced to the north
and south of Borneo Island 3
4.3 THE JAPANESE ADMINISTRATION IN BRUNEI

Brunei, Labuan, Baram, Limbang,


Bintulu and Lawas as one territory
administered by the Japanese Thirty-
seventh army.

• New administration
headed by a Japanese
• Little change in
structure of government
• Japanese didn’t care
about Brunei, hence there
was resentment against
Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin with Japanese soldiers them
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4.3 THE JAPANESE ADMINISTRATION IN BRUNEI
• People lived in hardship
• People resented activities of the Japanese ‘Kempeitai’
• People disliked ‘Nipponisation’ efforts

Nipponisation

Buildings to fly the Japanese flag

Everybody to learn the Japanese national anthem


and the Japanese language

Japanese stamps and currency


introduced, Japanese calendar used

Youth exchange programmes set up


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4.4 LIBERATION BY THE ALLIED FORCES

• 16 Nov 1944 - The Allied forces began


liberation of Brunei by bombing Japanese forces
in Brunei Town and Kuala Belait.
• 10 June 1945 – Australian forces landed in
Muara and moved to Brunei Town. They did not
face much resistance.

After the war, Brunei was temporarily


placed under the British Military
Administration

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4.5 EFFECTS OF THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION

Economic and social


development stagnated

Local people suffered


due to shortage of food
and medical supplies
Brunei students in the exchange
programme during the Japanese
occupation Seeds of nationalist
consciousness were
sown

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CHAPTER 4: SUMMARY

16 Dec 1941: The Japanese army


landed in Kuala Belait
22 Dec 1941: Brunei Town occupied

A system of Miri Shyu was


introduced

16 Nov 1944: The Allied forces


began rescue operations
10 June 1945: Brunei placed under
British Military Administration

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CHAPTER 4: SUMMARY

• No social or economic progress


• People suffered from shortages of
food and medicine
• Nationalist consciousness grew
• Awareness of self rule was created