chapter  7
15 Pages

Minami Boruneo

Former Dutch Borneo, namely the southern and western parts of the island, and what is present-day Indonesia’s Kalimantan, came under the control of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) in the early months of 1942. This territory was collectively referred to as Minami Boruneo (Southern Borneo). Assuming control from the IJA, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) then put in place a civilian administration, Borneo Minseibu, with its headquarters at Banjarmasin. Establishing a civilian instead of a military administrative set-up was in line with the policy of ‘permanent retention’, which incorporated Minami Boruneo as an integral part of the Imperial Japanese Empire. The Pontianak area of western Borneo, however, only came under IJN authority in mid-1942 after the cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of IJA units. Generally IJN administration was characteristically harsh, repressive and paranoid of any political activity. Overall ‘The Japanese employed scarcity, enforced ignorance, and terror to control the population.’1 Although referring to occupied western Borneo it typified the overall pattern throughout Minami Boruneo.