Situations in East Asia
As Indonesia’s growing economy is rising exponentially with LKY’s ground-breaking policies, more and more nations began looking at more interests into our equatorial nation. Withholding three of the five busiest straits in the world, Indonesia is already favourable on becoming an international transit hub, and a melting pot of cultures. Four nations in East Asia were quite observant on Indonesia. here are those four.
After the end of the Korean War, which the South Koreans won with a significant manner, Japan underwent an economic post-war boom. That boom benefited the ruling LDP into favouring more and more liberal policies, also increasing their popularity. The boom also profited Japan into having technological advancements, the most prioritized of which was the electronics industry. Starting from the 70s, Japan was having its golden age, a golden age of electronics.
Japan in the post-war era strengthened its focus on expanding its electronics industry. From radio transmitters and radars into televisions and cameras, Japan had mostly the famous electronic empires in the world. Yokogawa Electronics and Toshiba, reached a new peak surpassing their American competitors, winning at quality and price. The automotive industry was also thriving in Japan. Those giant car corporations, like Honda, Toyota and Nissan, all produced their vehicles with massive scales, selling everywhere. Olympus and Pentax became another giant in the photography branch, launching new and better cameras for the world to cherish.
Nearing the end of 70s and the start of 80s, Japan had reached a stage where the nation had become so advanced that wages were rising and public demands had become similar to the European-ones. Educated people also increased, therefore reducing the number of labours willing to work roughly at factories. Those corporations, to maximize their profits, need to move elsewhere to form overseas factories, exploiting cheap labour. Japan targeted three nations, one of them is Indonesia.
Japanese Camera in the 1970s
In 1975, the Prime Minister of Japan, Yasuhiro Kanasame, visited Indonesia to tour around multiple places Japan had invested in building their corporations. They started building regional offices in major hubs like Singapore, Johor, Batam and Jakarta. Meanwhile, they constructed factories in larger regions like Belitung; where a large deposit of lead reserve was found, Dumai; where land scarcity would not be a question and Kuching. More Japanese visits also happened in 1976, 1979 and 1981, which caused Indonesia to slightly be overrun by Japanese corporations. Although Subandrio had explicitly instructed LKY that the government must alleviate domestic companies so they could fight internationally, the latter thought foreign companies must arrive first in order so our national ones can imitate.
Japan also promote friendship by issuing an apology regarding Japanese cruelty during WW2 towards Native-Indonesians. In 1980, Kakuei Tanaka said to the people of Indonesia: "The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Indonesian people through war, and deeply reproaches itself.” Subandrio replied on to the Prime Minister: “We express utmost gratitude of Japan to apologize of our troubled history. But, my government wishes not to dwell in the past, we intend to move forward, although how dark our record may be.” The Emperor of Japan was surprised with Subandrio’s humble remark, and quite flattered by it. in 1981, he decided to give Indonesia his highest regard by visiting in 1981. In the Emperor’s visit, he met also several Sultans of Indonesia.
South Korea, in the meantime, was having a slightly better growth than Indonesia. after Korea was unified in 1974, President and Dictator Park Chung Hee finally announced his resignation because he had fulfilled his objective; uniting Korea. From Chung Hee’s protectionist policy and strong economic development, South Korea jumped greatly from ashes into a growing country. In 1975, Chung Hee’s successor, Shin Hyun Hwak announced a reconciliation strategy with the North populous, while also weakening the socialist stronghold. However, the democratic transitional-government reinforced Korea’s military fortification in the Yalu River and alongside the border with China.
Taiwan meanwhile, was not at their best of relations with Indonesia. with the ascension of Chiang Ching Kuo, Taiwan re-clarify their territorial ambition on the Spratly Islands, which annoyed SEATO. SEATO demanded Taiwan to end his claim, only to worsens relations and put more vessels in the contested region. The United States was involved in this to mediate between the two factions but eventually had to side one. In 1979, Carter cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and recognized the People’s Republic of China. Although the cause was not entirely from Taiwan’s aggressive attitude, Taiwan panicked and immediately sought out to Indonesia for talks. Upon arriving in Singapore, Taiwan talks with SEATO Members resolving the dispute in the Spratly Islands. The result was Taiwan still controls Itu Aba, and other Taiwanese-controlled regions, but denounce all claims for the rest of non-Taiwanese-controlled islands.
Last but not least, Indonesia was also eyeing in China. Now with Madame Mao as the leader for China, their economic development stopped abruptly as she implemented a ‘wiping procedure’. She enacted the Cultural Revolution, her cult of personality and empowerment of true Maoism. As she saw that political rivals, intellectuals and craftsmen had become increasingly rebellious and slanted from the true red beliefs. She contacted the youth, attracting them into her cause. The Youths formed a Red Guard, basically wiping all ‘anti-revolutionary’ movements. Jiang Qing wished to eradicate all of her potential opponents, giving her absolute power in China. With also the help of Gang of Four, she was kicking off her rivals one at a time, the first was Deng Xiao Ping.
Deng’s revisionist ideas completely disgusted her, although her husband agrees with the man. He hoped for China’s reformation, especially in politics. In 1981, she sentenced Deng Xiao Ping to death in ‘treason and betrayal’ against China, although there was no factual evidence of that wrongdoings. Nevertheless, in just a single year, Deng’s clan were all removed from influential offices, and Jiang Qing reigned supreme.
Jian Qing’s harsh domestic implementation may be a blessing for Indonesia indeed because China would reverse for at least ten years after this Cultural Revolution. However, what was very dire was her foreign moves. Calling Pan-Asian Manifesto, China would re-align with the Soviet Union. The worse was to come in early 1980, wherein both Afghanistan and Pakistan communist revolutions were happening. The latter nation caused a significant crisis with the United States that Carter called it ‘Karachi Hostage Crisis’.
Some information that was not quite in-topic but also important.
Okinawa was still a US-ownership after WW2, but after Korea has been unified in 1975. The US had fewer interests to have Okinawa as their Asian bases, and therefore the island was returned to Japan.
The Kim Family fled to China, seeking asylum with Madame's China.