Japanese veterans of military administration of Indonesia (1942-1945) still alive?

David Van Reybrouck's picture
I am a Belgian writer and historian, writing in Dutch. After my book Congo: The Epic History of A People which was translated in several languages, I am currently working on a book on the decolonization of Indonesia between 1930 and 1955.
 
I have just arrived in Tokyo and I am trying to find out whether any Japanese ex-servicemen who served in Indonesia are still alive and willing to be interviewed.  
 
 
Oral history is an integral ingedrient of my work. 
 
Both in Indonesia and the Netherlands, I have been quite successful in interviewing over 100 veterans, most of them well above 90 years old, and I hope some encounters might be possible in Japan too.
 
Where shoud I start?

Hello David,

I notice that there have been no replies to your query yet so I thought I would offer an attempt.

Here is the official veterans group for the former Japanese Army: http://www.kaikosha.or.jp/

Here is the official veterans group for both the former Navy and the JSDF: https://suikoukai-jp.com/suikoukai/

Here is the government-run museum for preserving the oral testimonies of war veterans: http://www.shokeikan.go.jp/

I have only personally interacted with the last of these three, but I believe that all of them will be very accommodating of your requests, especially if you can reach out to them in Japanese. If you are already in touch with one or more veterans, an oral recommendation from them may give you special priority at the veterans groups.

Avery Morrow
University of Tokyo