Japanese Occupation in Malaya 1942 (Postal Cover) First Anniversary of the Greater East Asia War
18-June-2013 07:37:29 PM
01-July-2013 10:58:15 PM
Japanese Military Occupation
Postal Cover
Definitive / Regular Issues
Used With Postmark - Extra Fine
Japanese Occupation in Malaya 1942 (Postal Cover) First Anniversary of the Greater East Asia War
Japanese Occupation in Malaya 1942 (Postal Cover)

First Anniversary of the Greater East Asia War

This is a postal cover used during Japanese Occupation in Malaya. It uses Japanese stamps that were authorised for usage 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, for use there.

The commemorative cancellation dated 12 - 8 - 2602 in Japanese calender (December 8th, 1942) to celebrate First Anniversary of the start of the Greater East Asia War when the Japanese troop first landed at Kota Bharu, Kelantan just after midnight of December 8th, 1941 (The Battle of Kota Bharu).

Recipient / Sender

F. Norris Esq.
6 Scotts Rd.

E. Talalla
529 Balestier Rd

Syonan-to was Japanese name for Singapore, it means Light of the South.


4 stamps were used with 4 different denominations.
1 of the stamps were fixed inverted on the envelope.

Power Plant
Date of Issue: 1939
Denomination: 3 S
Perforations: 13 x 13½
Colour: Dark bluish green
Printing: Typography
Scott: 260

Horyu Temple, Nara
Date of Issue: 1937
Denomination: 25 Sen
Perforations: 13 x 13½
Colour: Dark brown
Printing: Typography
Scott: 270

Meiji Shrine, Tokyo
Date of Issue: 1939
Denomination: 8 S
Perforations: 13 x 13½
dark Violet
Printing: Typography
Scott: 265

Admiral Heihachiro Togo
Date of Issue: 1942
Denomination: 5 S
Perforations: 13 x 13½
Brownish Carmine
Printing: Typography
Scott: 331

All four have same watermark.

Japanese Characters on Stamps

The inscriptions on the stamps read right to left. Reversed, modern-style and with modern, simplified characters:

大日本 帝國郵便
Read: Japanese Imperial Posts

Read: Three Sen

Read: Five Sen

八 銭
Read: Eight Sen

Read: Twenty Five Sen


The cancellation does not show the place of origin.

'syo nan' was spotted in the ring on top of 8 sen stamp.

The commemorative cancellation is believed to be a generic type and was probably prepared in Japan for use in post offices throughout Malaya for the anniversary mentioned.
Another possibility was the cover could have been a post-war manipulation. This is based on the observation that letters and postcards during this time should have had censored markings. IF IT IS GENUINE, it may have been cancelled-to-order and not have been mailed.
According to a source, the addresses are still used today; where 6 Scotts Road today is a newly built Scotts Square Shopping Centre and 529 Balestier Road remains as shop. The distance between these two places is less than 5km apart.

As normal letter rate during this time was 8 cents, the absence of a registration label and the excess postage applied, suggest the cover may have been a philatelic item.
Therefore this raises the question of 'postal necessity', whether the cover was genuinely postmarked or rather a forgery.

Postal Rates During Japanese Occupation

4 cents - Postcard
8 cents - Letter
15 cents - Registration Fee
30 cents - Parcel up to 3 lb.
70 cents - Parcel up to 11 lb.

1. Thank you note to tonymacg, Melbourne, Australia.
2. Thank you note to Clive (HayeSmith), United Kingdom.
3. Thank you note to Navin, Singapore.
4. Thank you note to ligneN, Wiesbaden, Germany

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