24 August. Although agreed in 1944 in relation to an Allied invasion of Sumatra, only now is the Anglo–Dutch Civil Affairs Agreement formally signed. Its key provision is that areas recaptured by Allied troops will revert to Dutch colonial rule via the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration (NICA). On 2 September, it is decided the agreement will apply to all areas of the Netherlands East Indies occupied by British forces.
7 September. Faced with hyperinflation in Malaya as a result of massive printing by the Japanese of their wartime currency, the British Military Administration (BMA) demonetizes the currency; only pre-war and a new post-war currency are legal tender. The widespread economic pain this causes is alleviated by government handouts. However, due to the financial and economic upheaval caused by the demonetization policy, the BMA would come to be derogatorily known as the ‘Black Market Administration’ owing to the widespread corruption of its staff.
5 September. Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX of Yogyakarta in Central Java sends a letter to Sukarno, expressing his support for the newly born nation of Indonesia and acknowledging the Yogyakarta Sultanate is part of the Republic. The region receives the status of a special territory. Four weeks will pass before Japanese troops in the city actually relinquish power.
11 September. Occupation authorities in Japan designate 39 former Japanese leaders as war criminals and order their arrests. Among their number is General Tōjō Hideki, who as prime minister presided over Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Tōjō has already attempted suicide before being taken to prison. He is later found guilty at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal and hanged in December 1948. Eventually 5,700 Japanese military personnel will be tried in war crimes tribunals throughout Asia.
11 September. Barely a week after a Republican administration was proclaimed in the city, a massive pro-independence rally is held in Surabaya. A second mass demonstration follows on the 17th. Such popular expressions of support for merdeka (freedom) are echoed across the country.
15 September. A week after an advance party lands in Jakarta, a British naval squadron arrives at the city’s Tanjung Priok roadstead. On board are RAPWI control staff whose urgent task is to coordinate the rescue and repatriation of POWs and internees. A group of NICA (Netherlands Indies Civil Affairs) officials is also on board, led by Ch. O. van der Plas, the former Governor of East Java. Local Japanese commanders, including Admiral Maeda who has played a key role in launching the Indonesian revolution (see p. 109), immediately present themselves and formally surrender.
30 August. Two days after an advance party of U.S. Army airborne forces secures Atsugi aerodrome near Tokyo, General MacArthur arrives by plane. Meanwhile U.S. marines come ashore in Tokyo Bay in full combat gear and clearly prepared for Japanese treachery. The next day MacArthur assumes command of the Japanese government in Tokyo. This is the first time in its history that Japan is occupied by a foreign power.
5 September. Portuguese (East) Timor accepts transfer of authority from the Japanese, although the Australians insist upon a separate ceremony in Dili, alongside the official Japanese surrender ceremony conducted in Kupang (West Timor) on the 11th. Portuguese and local communities look forward to the arrival of Portuguese relief ships and truly welcome them when they appear on the 27th.
10 September. President Sukarno formally declares an end to Japanese authority in Indonesia but high Japanese officials state they will surrender to the Allies, not to the new Republic. On the ground, the situation varies from place to place. In the Javanese hinterland, the Japanese choose to withdraw from certain urban areas. Some Japanese units are also actively arming local Indonesians, whereas others are neutral or even hostile to the Republicans and continue to follow instructions to maintain order until British forces arrive.