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    Japanese Cave on Biak (Goa Jepang) Biak Numfor Regency | Papua Province Indonesia
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5th AF Assoc 1990

Location
The "Japanese Cave" (Goa Jepang) is the local name for a natural natural limestone system that spans over 1.86 miles (3 kilometers) on Biak Island in the Schouten Island Group (Schouten Archipelago) in the Biak Numfor Regency of Papua Province in Indonesia. Known in Indonesian as "Goa Jepang" or the shorter acronym "Gojep". An entrance is located at Paray Beach (Pantai Paray) in Paray village.

Wartime History
During 1942, occupied by the Japanese when they occupied Biak. By early 1944, the Japanese developed this cave into a natural defensive fortress with soldiers and heavy weapons emplaced and hidden inside the cave.

On May 27, 1944, after the U. S. Army 41st Infantry Division made an amphibious landing at Bosnik. After the U. S. Army landing on Biak, Americans occupied portions of the cave while the rest was held by the Japanese and used to harass the landing force and bombard Mokmer Airfield (Mokmer Drome). To eliminate the threat, American forces began probing the cave system for entrances and weaknesses.

On July 7, 1944 during the early morning, the U. S. Army began attacking the cave and bombing and bombarding of the area. The attacks culminated with pumping drums of gasoline into cave entrances that was ignited. Inside, an estimated 3,000 Japanese were killed in the attacks.

Today
The "Japanese Cave" (Goa Jepang) is located in a forest, the cave is one of Biak main tourist attractions. The entrance is surrounded by fences. According to Yusuf Rumaropen, an Irianese who has been taking care of the cave for 20 years, the forest is kept intact; tree cutting is strictly forbidden to keep the historic site as it is.

References
Jakarta Post "Goa Jepang, natural museum for Japanese killed in WW II" April 5, 2000

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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