By Ooi Keat Gin
Although the Japanese interregnum was brief, its dramatic commencement and equally dramatic conclusion represented a watershed in the history of the young state of Sarawak.
In recent years, there has been a groundswell of interest in the war years, culminating in an attempt at reassessment of the Japanese occupation in Southeast Asia by Western and Japanese scholars as well as by those from Southeast Asia.
Presented here in a two-volume edition is a history of the Japanese occupation of Sarawak narrated through the compelling testimonies of the actual participants based on their recollections, memoirs, and correspondence.
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Beginning with the closing decade of European colonial rule in Southeast Asia and covering the wartime Japanese empire and its postwar disintegration, Tensions of Empire focuses on the Japanese in Southeast Asia, Indonesians in Japan, and the legacy of the war in Southeast Asia. It also examines Japanese perceptions of Southeast Asia and the lingering ambivalence toward Japanese involvement in Asia and toward the war in particular.
When North Vietnamese troops occupied Saigon at the end of April 1975, their leaders in Hanoi faced the future with pride and confidence. Almost fifteen years later, the euphoria has given way to sober realism. Since the end of the war, the Communist regime has faced an almost uninterrupted series of difficulties including sluggish economic growth at home and a costly occupation of neighboring Cambodia.
In 1904 the British Protectorate of Brunei had reached the nadir of its fortunes. Reduced to two small strips of territory, bankrupt, and threatened with takeover by the Rajah of Sarawak (Sir Charles Brooke), Brunei received M. S. H. McArthur who was dispatched to make recommendations for Brunei's future administration.