Malaysia Stamp & Philately Reference Guide
+ Country   : Malaya
+ Class     : Stamp & Philatey
+ Prefix    : MYJAP
+ Σ Group   : 6
+ Σ Stamp   : 23
+ Σ Listing : Postage Stamp, Postcard Prepaid (With Indicia)
Japanese Postal in Occupied Malaya

Initially, the Japanese continued the use of British colonial postage stamps and captured stamps were over-printed by the new masters for use.
As the stocks of captured stamps were used up, and Japan had its own plans for Malaya & Singapore, it became necessary to issue new stamps designed for use in Malaya & Singapore.

Japanese Stamps Used In Malaya

On 8 December 1942, on the first anniversary of the start of the Pacific war, and five months before the pictorial definitives started being issued, the Japanese authorities issued four Japanese stamps in Malaya. The fours stamps refer to stamps above with values 3 cents, 5 cents, 8 cents and 25 cents. The remaining stamps above were authorised in February 1943 and these were mainly used in Japan. However, due to the occupation, the 9 Japanese stamps were still be able to use in Malaya although these stamps is not a "formal" issue for usage in Malaya.

Pictorial Definitives

Issued on three different dates: April, June and October 1943 with two different design styles.

April & June issues: 2, 4, 8 with solid colours.

Other values  look more like line drawings.

Most of the subject feature aspects of Malaya’s industry and agriculture and a few show Malayan scenes.
Value Issue Colour Design Rate
01/06/1943 Pale-emerald Fruits from tropical  fruit farms of Malaya. Printed Paper
  ‘Drab’ Rubber tapping - Malaya’s main industry and a major attraction to the occupiers.  
29/04/1943 Carmine Rose Tin dredging - another important Malayan industry. Postcard
29/04/1943 Dull Blue Japanese War Memorial at Bukit Batok. Letter
10¢   Brown-purple Fishing village  
15¢   Violet Japanese shrine at Singapore Registration Fee
30¢   Olive-green Sago palms - an important food source. For parcels up to 3 lb
50¢   Blue The Straits of Johore For parcels up to 7 lb
70¢   Blue Malay Mosque, Kuala Lumpur Highest parcel rate up to 11 lb

Issued on 29 April 1943, co-incided with Emperor Hirohito’s birthday
Japanese-occupied North Borneo had a 4¢ and 8¢ stamp issued on the same day.
Price Services Remarks
12¢ Advice of Receipt (AR)   
30¢ Express service fee With addition of a pink Express label but no proof that any form of Express service actually existed.

Postal rates remained throughout occupation and were not increased. However, the inflation was rampant and everything was in short supply. Inflation during the occupation averaged 100 times (a factor of 100 not 100 percent). Postage of the 8¢ basic letter rate would have been $8 if it has been increased at the inflation rate.


Issued on 29 April 1943 4c

Indicia is same design as 4c stamp and all wordings in red.

Most of the cards are on quite flimsy light-weight card, watermarked: Government Printing Works Singapore.

The watermark extends across several cards, so a card may have part of it or a straight line or no visible watermark.

Singapore Printings

2¢ and 4¢ with poor quality impressions, as if the plate was worn and the ink was thin.

Known with imperforate or with rouletting instead of perforations.

Very few are known used and those few have dates in late August 1945.

It is possible that towards the end of the war, with transport between East Indies and Malaya getting difficult, that the printing plates for 2¢ and 4¢ were moved from Batavia to Singapore.

Savings Campaign Issue
  Colour Rate
Violet Letter
15¢ Scarlet Registration Fee

Issued on 1 September 1943.

Simple bold design which was used for both values and was printed economically in only one colour for each value.

Colour trial of 8c printed in red is known to exist.

Rebirth of Malaya

Issued on 15 February 1944

Second anniversary of the Fall of Singapore

Meant to commemorate the rebirth of Malaya as part of Greater Japan.

Design shows rice being planted with a map of South East Asia in the background.
Colour Rate
Rose-red Letter
15¢ Magenta Registration Fee


Susan McEwen
Japanese Occupation of Malaya, the Pictorial Issues
GSM April 2009