Japanese Forces Gain Control of Island of Borneo

The Battle of Borneo was a successful campaign by Japanese Imperial forces for control of Borneo island and concentrated mainly with the subjugation of Kingdom of Sarawak, North Borneo and western part of Kalimantan occupied by Dutch East Indies.

The Japanese main unit for this mission was the 35th Infantry Brigade led by Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi.

The Second World War commenced in Borneo at the end of 1941, after several years of mounting regional tension. The Japanese invasion of Borneo was driven by a number of different objectives.

First, there were the Seria and Miri oilfields, and the Lutong refinery. These formed important cornerstones of the widening attack, from a supply standpoint. Second, Borneo provided an ideal platform to attack adjacent Indonesia, Java in particular. Last not least, the Borneo-Chinese population was seen as an enemy - active fund-raising, organised by community leaders, had helped to fund the mainland China resistance, a war of attrition that was absorbing a large number of Japanese troops, without delivering the desired imperial outcomes.