Japan invaded Thailand in 1941, but in order to avoid losing their country and freedom, Thailand’s Prime Minister Phibun and his government reluctantly agreed to cooperate with the Japanese military. Thailand’s railroad system, airports and harbors immediately fell under Japanese control, and the country was used as a Japanese base from which to launch attacks on Singapore, Malaya and Burma.
Despite the government’s approval, many Thai people showed resentment towards the Japanese. A secret group consisting of anti-Japanese Thai government officials, calling itself the ‘Free Thai Movement’, had been operating since 1942. It was also widely believed that these men might have been covertly working together with the allies. The Thai government in Bangkok had assured him that there was no need for concern. They had been informed of Hideki’s mission and had made the necessary arrangements. However, although the Thai government and the Japanese authorities were situated in Bangkok, the place where they would be docking and carrying out their mission was to be Phuket which was over five hundred miles to the south. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and the country’s door to the Indian Ocean.
As Joshua read further, he learned that Hideki’s suspicions proved correct.