Ba Maw was the Prime Minister of Burma during the Japanese occupation. He had been Prime Minster under the British until 1937 but was arrested for sedition in 1940. In 1942 he was appointed national leader by the Japanese and began negotiating for Burma’s independence and was forced to accept the loss of part of the Shan states. In August 1943 Burma was declared independent and Ba Maw was appointed its head of state, however this was a purely nominal title—in fact, he merely served as an adviser to the Japanese military rulers. Once the British began to overrun Burma he left for Japan and was interned by the US in Tokyo (December 1945-July 1946). He returned to Burma to face further imprisonment under the A Nu regime.