The outbreak of the Second World War produced a deep impact on (he nationalist move­ment in Indo-China. It convinced the people that the Europeans were not invincible and provided a new impetus to nationalist movement.

France after the defeat at the hands of Germany in Europe in 1940 was forced to make certain concessions to Japan. In September 1940 France granted to Japan her right to station troops and aircrafts in Indo-China. By the Dar- lan Kato Agreement of July 1941 Indo-China was fully integrated into the Japanese military system, even though France continued to administer the country.

Thus the people of Indo-China had to wage struggle at two fronts. On the one hand, they organized a number of popular risings against the French authorities, even though these were effectively brought down by the French. On the other hand, the people of Indo-China also started an anti-Japanese movement under Ho Vict Minh.

An important change took place in Vietnam on 9 March, 1945 when the Japanese ousted the French Admiral Decona and interned the French troops and personnel. The Japanese also encouraged Bao Dai, the

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Emperor of Annam to declare independence and acknowledged him as the head of the independent state of Vietnam (created by uniting Tonking, Annam and Cochin-China).

Similarly, the kings of Cambodia and Laos were also permitted to declare their independence. All this convinced the people of Indo-China that Europe was not invincible and greatly contributed to the strenthening of the nationalist movement.