- 東南アジア -歴史と文化- (ISSN:03869040)
- vol.2008, no.37, pp.3-27, 2008 (Released:2016-12-13)
This article takes a historical approach to the legal status of the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies with particular emphasis on the law making process. It is widely known that the Dutch government made a legal distinction between its colonial population as Europeans and “inlanders (natives).” The criterion of this distinction was that the concerned group could be regarded as either “civilized” or not. According to the law, the Japanese were classified as “inlanders” until the introduction of the Japanese Law. However, as the navigation treaty between the Dutch and Japanese governments concluded in 1896, the Dutch government was confronted with whether or not to change the legal status of the Japanese in the East Indies. They subsequently enacted the so-called Japanese Law to elevate the Japanese from “inlanders” to quasi-Europeans. A parliamentary discussion regarding this law reveals the notion of civilization held by the law-makers and Dutch politicians. In addition, this article describes how the Japanese recognize this law in relation to its social significance in the East Indies.