During World War II, the Japanese occupied much of the northern coast of Netherlands New Guinea. They were then driven out by General MacArthur’s New Guinea campaign, beginning with a famous amphibious invasion of Hollandia in 1944.
Former was irian jaya, again Papua has an interesting history. After World War II, when the country of Indonesia was formed in August 1945, Netherlands New Guinea remained under Dutch control. It had a brief period under UN control in 1962, then annexed as a province of Indonesia in 1963, and renamed West Irian. In 1973 its name was changed again to Irian Jaya. In 2002 the province achieved special autonomy status and was allowed to change its name to Papua. Since that time there have been government efforts to split the province into smaller segments, one such split actually happening in 2003, when the western peninsula became its own province named West Irian Jaya. In 2007 that smaller province changed its name to West Papua.