How did World War II affect nationalist movements in Southeast Asia?
The Japanese cultural campaign proclaimed that Asia should be ruled by Asians and promised independence from the Western colonial/imperialist rule. At first some Southeast Asians admired and welcomed the Japanese. [ However, when the promised independence was not forthcoming, Southeast Asian nationalists – many of whom had been leaders in resisting Western colonial rule (as in Indonesia, Burma,
and Vietnam) – mounted underground movements to drive the Japanese out. In Thailand, the anti-Japanese movement (the Free Thai or Seri Thai) had several branches; some operating from outside the nation and some working underground in Thailand to sabotage the Japanese. Residence groups throughout Southeast Asia were, first and foremost nationalists, pledged to freeing their nations of foreign interference, whether throwing off the colonial yoke of Europe or thwarting the intrusive advance or military control of Japan. ]
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