The Japanese occupation of Burma refers to the period between 1942 and 1945 during World War II, when Burma was a part of the Empire of Japan. The Japanese had assisted formation of the Burma Independence Army, and trained the Thirty Comrades, who were the founders of the modern Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). The Burmese hoped to gain support of the Japanese in expelling the British, so that Burma could become independent. In 1942, during World War II, Japan invaded Burma and nominally declared Burma independent as the State of Burma on 1 August 1943. A puppet government led by Ba Maw was installed. However, it soon became apparent that the Japanese had no intention of giving independence to Burma. Aung San, father of the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, nationalist leaders formed the Anti-Fascist Organisation (later renamed Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League), which asked the United Kingdom to form a coalition with other Allies against the Japanese. By April 1945, the Allies had driven out the Japanese. Subsequently, negotiations began between the Burmese and the British for independence.
It has been argued that the Japanese invasion of Burma was the main cause of the Bengal Famine of 1943, since it cut off all food supplies from the region.
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