THE SEVEN-YEAR occupation of the south coast by the Japanese army left it haunted by disease and starvation, and over the country as a whole the exigencies of war had inevitably led to social changes. Many slave registers and records of land ownership had been lost, while other slaves had won freedom through service in the army or by buying themselves out. Shortage of funds had led the government to sell posts and titles to the highest bidders and this was a tendency that would continue, along with a steady growth in commercial activities. The Piby nsa or Defence Council, made up of senior ministers and generals, had virtually replaced the ij ngbu through the war years and, faced with further threats from the North, would continue as the central organ of government until the end of the eighteenth century.