In the centuries leading up to the outbreak of World War 2 Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Timor occupied strategic positions astride the strategic South East Asian trade routes. By the outbreak of war in the 1940s Britain was a predominant power and influence in the region. The entire area was a major source of valuable raw materials such as rubber, oil, tin, and timber. These materials were valuable assets to whatever nation controlled them and in the early 1940s it was Japan that wanted to wrest that control.
World War Two: Pacific Region
In December 2005, Professor Richard Wright and historian Ms Lynette Silver made a submission to Unrecovered War Casualties – Army suggesting that the remains at Parit Sulong may have been buried at the killing field.
In 2011 Unrecovered War Casualties – Army commenced an investigation into a World War Two Z Special Unit patrol into the Celebes of the Dutch East Indies in 1945. The investigation hoped to determine what had happened to two Australians and one local interpreter who were members of the patrol.