15 September 1945. At the invitation of Prince Boun Oum of Champassak, French troops enter Pakse, the main centre in the southern British zone; several weeks will pass before their hold here is secure. The same day, Prince Phetsarath reiterates his proclamation of Laotian independence and announces the integration of all the country’s provinces (including Champassak). About this time, he also detaches Lao government services from the rest of Indochina and establishes a new currency and tax regime. Two days later, King Sisavangvong rejects these measures. He is well aware that, despite their early setback in Savannakhet, Franco–Lao forces are making their way up the middle Mekong.
15 September 1945. 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.