On This Day

The Day Myanmar’s Wartime Puppet Leader Crashed in Vietnam

By Wei Yan Aung 29 October 2019

As the delegation left for Taiwan from Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), the plane crashed from a height of 100 meters.

The delegation survived when the plane fell on a cluster of huts, although some residents died. On hearing about the plane crash, Japan’s prime minister, Hideki Tojo, sent a special plane to transport the delegation.

Tojo, Prime Minister of Manchukuo Zhang Jinghui, President of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China Wang Jingwei, Head of State of the Provisional Government of Free India Subhas Chandra Bose, President of the Second Philippine Republic Jose Laurel, Prince Wan Waithayakon of Thailand and Dr. Ba Maw attended the summit, which discussed the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Bose was present only as an observer, with participants expressing support for Indian independence.

Under Japanese rule, Myanmar’s citizens were given administrative roles and the fighting peacock appeared on the occupied state’s flag. Dr. Ba Maw designated Burmese as the official language, established diplomatic missions and kept the name of the armed forces as the Burma National Army.

In spite of being the head of state under Japanese rule, he gave official protection to youth leaders, including General Aung San, who challenged Japan’s occupation.