Journal of Southeast Asian Studies


Indonesia 1939–1942: Prelude to the Japanese Occupation 1

Shigeru Sato a1
a1 The University of Newcastle. He may be contacted at

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In the conventional historiography of Indonesia, the Second World War is equated with the Japanese occupation, and 1942 is a year of sudden change. This article argues that there was a prelude to these conditions. Changes in the global economic structure due to the Second World War, and countermeasures by the state authorities, began well before the Japanese invasion. The fundamental problem was the gradually deepening economic isolation that necessitated state intervention.

(Published Online May 15 2006)


1 An earlier version of this article was drafted as a working paper during a visiting fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) in Amsterdam in early 2004. Prof. Sato is grateful to NIOD and its staff for their support