Committee for Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence

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The Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence (Indonesian: Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia ), (Japanese: 独立準備調査会 Dokuritsu Junbi Chōsa-kai) was an organization set up in March 1945 by the Japanese administration occupying Indonesia. It also decided the Pancasila as the official ideology of Indonesia.


Realizing they were losing the war, on 7 September 1944, the Japanese promised independence to Indonesia. The Japanese navy was not supportive of the idea, but the 16th Army in Sumatra established a Central Advisory Board, which met only once. Despite navy opposition, army-navy liaison vice-admiral Maeda Tadashi began to fund speaking tours by Indonesian nationalists Sukarno and Hatta. Other groups were set up, both civilian and military, and Indonesians began to be appointed to administrative posts. After the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the liberation of the Philippines, the Japanese abandoned hope of turning Indonesia into a puppet state, and now began to try and win goodwill. However, a rebellion by PETA militas in Blitar in February 1945 showed the Japanese they were losing control.[1]

Formation and composition[edit]

The BPUPKI was founded on 1 March 1945. It met in the building formerly used by the Volksraad (People's Council), which had been set up by the Dutch. The Japanese appointed 59 members, representing the major groups in Java and Madura. The membership included eight Japanese, including one of the vice-chairmen. Among the members were:[1][2]

The other co-secretary was a Japanese who was unable to understand Indonesian, the language used in the meetings.[2]

Plenary meetings[edit]

The BPUPKI held two plenary meetings: 29 May - 1 June and 10 July - 17 July 1945.[3] In May, the committee convened and was first chaired by Dr. Radjiman Wediodiningrat. Other notable members included Sukarno, Hatta, Yamin, Wahid Hasyim and the Indo (Eurasian) P.F.Dahler. Sutomo advocated national integration as opposed to personal individualism. Muhammad Yamin advocated the new nation state should not only include all the territories of the Dutch East Indies, but also include Sarawak, Sabah, Malaya, and Portuguese Timor. Yamin further suggested ignoring international law and declaring all ocean areas between islands as Indonesian territorial waters. His nationalistic viewpoints were grounded in the history and territorial claims of the Majapahit Empire, but also the general appeal to unite all peoples of racial and cultural Malay backgrounds.

During the following BPUPKI session in July, a constitution for Indonesia was drafted. Hatta opposed Yamin's viewpoints, and even suggested that West Papua might be excluded from the new republic. Sukarno backed Yamin's nationalistic unitary statements. Haji Agus Salim proposed people in the British and Portuguese colonies could vote on whether to join Indonesia. Ultimately a committee majority votes to include Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah and Portuguese Timor, as well as the whole of the Dutch East Indies.[4]

The committee endorsed Sukarno's Pancasila (politics) philosophy as the foundation of the new state.[5]

See also[edit]


  • Kahin, George McTurnan (1952) Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-9108-8
  • Ricklefs (1982), A History of Modern Indonesia, Macmillan Southeast Asian reprint, ISBN 0-333-24380-3
  • Saafroedin Bahar et al. (eds) (1995), Risalah Sidang Badan Penyelidik Usaha-usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia (BPUPKI) Panitia Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia (PPKI) (Proceedings of the Committee for Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence (BPUPKI) Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI)), Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia, ISBN 979-8300-00-9 (in Indonesian)


  1. ^ a b Ricklefs (1982) pp 195-196
  2. ^ a b Kahin (1952) p121
  3. ^ Sekretariat Negara p1
  4. ^ Online history timeline.
  5. ^ Kahin (1952) p122