Surrender Point

Next to the Peace Park is Surrender Point, another historical place of interest. This is where the 32nd Japanese Southern Army surrendered to the 9th Division Australian Imperial Forces on 9th September 1945 which led to the end of World War II in Borneo. The Japanese arrived at Labuan on 1st January 1942, less than a month after they had started their campaign in Malaya at Kota Baru and took formal possession of the island on the 3rd, after facing no resistance.

They occupied Labuan for four years, even renaming it Pulau Maida, or Maidashima after General Maida, the Chief Commander of the Japanese forces in Borneo. He was on his way to Labuan from Sarawak to open the airstrip there when he died in an air crash at Bintulu. The airstrip was built by the Japanese who found it was a good location for their operations in North Borneo. For Labuan, the end of the Japanese Occupation came abruptly with the retaking of the island by the Allied forces. The capture of Labuan was seen as essential for recovering supplies of oil, rubber and timber from the mainland of Borneo. It would also serve as a base to help the Allies recapture Singapore.

A convoy of 100 ships were sent from Merotai. On 10th June 1945, they reached Labuan and an attack was launched by the 9th Australian Division. It was a successful attack, resulting in the surrender of the Japanese troops.

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