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Jakarta Post

Japan-Indonesia relations: A 50 year journey

  • <b>Jusuf Wanandi</b>

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 24 2008   /  01:09 am

Historically, Japan-Indonesia relations were never as dramatic as Japan's relations with China or Korea. Of course, we also went through a difficult period in World War II when the then Dutch East Indies was occupied by the Japanese Army for three-and-a-half years. We were in a war, and war is always miserable. We experienced atrocities in some parts of Indonesia, such as in West Kalimantan, but that happened only at the end of the war and with limited victims. Most of the hardships and excesses happened because of the war situation. It should be noted that the Japanese occupation took place when a military dictatorship had ruled Japan since the early 1930s. And a dictatorship, especially a military one, can be really harsh and full of excesses. On the other hand, the Japanese occupation also taught and did Indonesia some good, such as building a national administration, tr...