Mobilisation of Indonesian Society

In order to accustom the Indonesian population to the 'Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere' and the Japanese war effort, the Japanese authorities created two new mass organisations. On 29 April 1942 they founded the Gerakan Tiga-A (Triple-A Movement). This organisation emphasised the leading role that Japan played in the New Order in Asia, but was geared only towards the urban population. On 8 March 1943 Tiga-A was superseded by Putera (Pusat Tenaga Rakyat - Centre of People's Power), led by the four Indonesian nationalist leaders Sukarno, Hatta, Dewantoro and Mansur. The Japanese eventually replaced Putera with Djawa Hokokai (Java Service Association) which was completely controlled by the Japanese military authorities.
In 1942 the military authorities also introduced the Japanese calendar (1942 became the year 2062), Japanese holidays, Tokyo time and the Imperial cult. The Japanese also required all subjected peoples to show gestures of respect to Japanese soldiers. Schoolchildren were given lessons in Japanese, while the Dutch language was officially banned.
In Java the Japanese authorities founded the organisations Keibodan and Seinendan - two unarmed auxiliary corps that together provided the Japanese with hundreds of thousands of volunteers. The Keibodan was a police auxiliary made up of young men aged 23 to 35. The Seinendan was a youth organisation for young men aged 14 to 23 who manned anti-aircraft batteries.
In order to reinforce Japanese combat forces, in 1942 the military administration also began recruiting volunteers for military service away from Java - the so-called 'heihos'. On 3 October 1943 the Japanese established Sukarela Tentara Pembela Tanah Air (Army for the Defence of the Fatherland - PETA). PETA was an armed military corps of Indonesian volunteers. Above the battalion level, PETA units were commanded by Japanese officers. By 1945, PETA had recruited and trained an estimated 36,000 officers and men.


Information a.o. in:

Access Number 2.22.21, inv.no. 295 and 296, 478, 540, 678
Access Number 2.10.14, inv.no. 2988 and 5212,

See also:

Access Number 2.22.21
- inv.no. 60 to 77 (Serie: Events leading to the Independence of Indonesia: developments 1945) National Archives, Kew
- inv.no. 78 to 117 (Serie: Situation in the Netherlands East Indies, 1945-1946) National Archives, Kew
- inv.no. 118 to 160 (Serie: Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia (Mountbatten Diaries) 1945-1945)