Sukarno was the leader of the Indonesian National Party who after the war became President of independent Indonesia. Before the war, Sukarno was thought to be a Japanese agent by the Dutch government, which refused to negotiate with him. He was released from confinement after the Japanese overran the Dutch East Indies in 1942. During the war Sukarno and Hatta headed the Putera from which was developed the Volunteer Army, the Peta. By 1944 the Japanese became aware that the Peta was being used to further the interests of nationalism rather than their own and they disbanded it. Sukarno was then placed at the head of a new organization set up by the Japanese.
On 1 June 1945 Sukarno made a speech putting forward the five basic principles which would form the basis of a free Indonesia. Anti-Japanese feeling in Indonesia was mounting because the Japanese had not fulfilled their promise to make Indonesia independent and on 7 August 1945 an Indonesian Independence Preparation Committee was set up. Underground independence fighters did not want independence as a gift from the Japanese; Sukarno was pressured by national leaders into declaring an Indonesian Republic on 17 August 1945. Sukarno was thus able to preempt the Allies and prevent a return to colonial rule.