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Title: Constructions of Japan and the Japanese : war, memory and foreign policy in Singapore
Authors: Liu, Joseph Woon Keong
Keywords: Humanities::History
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: In Singapore, Japan and the Japanese are remembered through different modes of memory. Of these different modes, Japan is constructed in an adversarial mode as an eternal enemy in Singapore’s national history and in a collaborative mode as an ally and model to be emulated. The thesis examines how these modes of memory determine Singapore’s diplomatic relationship with Japan. The adversarial mode is created through the ritualized system of commemoration in schools that transmits the national collective memory to Singaporeans. A look at the commemoration of heroes reveals a process of remembering and forgetting and the implications of selective remembering are discussed. The collaborative mode of memory was born of the political and economic engagements with Japan since Singapore’s independence. This engagement facilitated reconciliation and allowed the Singapore Government to manage anti-Japanese sentiment in Singapore. Positive memories of Japan and the Japanese were constructed in Singapore through changing cultural norms like shopping or Japanese construction firms building Singapore’s modern landscape. Such efforts ameliorate the traumatic memories of the past and create positive memories of Japan and the Japanese. In essence, anti-Japanese sentiment preserved by the adversarial mode of memory was counterbalanced by the creation of the collaborative mode of memory.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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