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Open Access Chapter IV: The threat from the north

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Chapter IV: The threat from the north

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Chapter Summary

In the Netherlands Indies, people were more realistic about an immediate Chinese threat. Aware of the threat of pro-Japanese feelings in the Netherlands Indies, the Dutch colonial authorities viewed Japanese visiting the Archipelago or settling in one of its islands with the utmost suspicion, especially when the region they happened to choose lay outside Java. A fear of Japanese spies would re-emerge in full force on the eve of the outbreak of World War One, when, as contemporaries dubbed this, the 'East Asiatic danger' posed by the 'warlike island empire' was seen as an even more realistic, if not major, threat. The enemy to be prepared for was Japan. As in the previous decade, Europeans were convinced that Japan lusted after the European colonies in Southeast Asia, of which the Netherlands Indies was the weakest example, and consequently the most vulnerable to an attack.

Keywords: Chinese threat; Japanese spies; Netherlands Indies



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