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US State Department; The United states has not officially recognized Aug. 17, 1945 as Indonesia's independence day.

Kornelius Purba managing editor at The Jakarta Post, a daily English language newspaper in Indonesia., wrote (Tue, March 10, 2020) an article about the visit of the Dutch King to Indonesia. In his article, he asked the king to accept the fact that August 17, 1945, is Indonesia’s Independence Day;

“All nations all over the world have recognized that Indonesia became a fully independent nation on Aug. 17, 1945. The Dutch will become a laughing stock if they stubbornly insist that their former colony freed itself from colonization on Dec. 27, 1949.

This year we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of our independence. No one will understand if, during his visit here, the king is too afraid to acknowledge this truth.

So, for your own good, Your Majesty, please acknowledge to the Indonesian people that Indonesia's Independence Day is Aug. 17, 1945. "

I was surprised that a journalist came up with such a misrepresentation .

I was aware that the United Nations officially recognized Indonesia’s sovereignty as agreed upon at the Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference in the Hague 23 August – 2 November 1949 and ratified by the Queen of The Netherlands on December 27, 1949, but perhaps there were member states that had renounced this and officially recognized the date of August 17, 1945 as Indonesia's date of independence?

Inquiries at the US State Department (Office of the Historian) taught me that the US has not changed its stance on recognizing Indonesia as an independent state. U.S. recognition of and relations with Indonesia, which identifies December 28, 1949, as the date for both formal recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations have not changed.

In their response, the US State Department referred to all documents relating to the Indonesian struggle for independence between 1945 and 1949.

The files also include the first letter from the US President to the first ambassador for Indonesia to President Soekarno.

The Secretary of State to the Consulate General at Batavia

Pres has approved fol msg for Cochran to deliver to Pres Sukarno:

Washington, December 27, 1949—4 p. m.

“My dear Mr. President: I wish to offer to you on this historic occasion my heartiest personal congratulations and those of the Amer people on the independence of the Repub of the US of Indo. I have followed the course of events in your country very closely for the past several years. I have greatly admired the high statesmanship with which you, Dr. Hatta and your colleagues contributed with such distinction to the splendid settlements at The Hague which have provided independence and sovereignty to your country.

“The US welcomes Indo into the family of independent peace-loving nations. May God grant you and your people peace and prosperity in the years to come. ”

You shld advise Pres Sukarno that this msg, together with the presentation by you of your credentials, constitutes the recognition of the Repub of the US of Indo by the US of Amer.

You shld also advise Pres Sukarno that the Pres of the US will make public announcement concerning Indo on the VOA. You will advise Dept timing that statement.

Maybe Kornelius Purba was talking about ‘Alternative facts’ when he wrote his article? Fact is that he did some bad research.


Documentation of U.S. policy toward Indonesia/Netherlands East Indies during the period 1945-1949 in published volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States series. U.S. Department of State. Washington.

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