Spies in British Controlled Singapore
Policing the Japanese, 1921-1941
Author(s): Edward J. Drea
Explore what it meant to be Japanese in pre-1941 British-occupied Singapore, and how expatriates found themselves caught in the middle of an espionage and counter-espionage struggle for power
Collection: Asian Studies
 Publication Date  Available in all formats
ISBN 9781915271730
  Pages 143





Imagine being Japanese, living in Singapore in the nineteen twenties and thirties, suspected by everyone around you of being a spy.

Prior to December 1941, Singapore was the site of a major naval base for the occupying British. As tensions increased between the imperial powers of Japan and Britain, Japanese expatriates living in Singapore became the focus of both governments in the struggle for control and power, resulting in further marginalization, suspicion, and othering from the Singapore authorities.

Based on British police records and Japanese military records of the time, this book explores what it meant to be Japanese in those circumstances, and how people were used – sometimes without their knowledge and consent – as spies and intelligence agents.

Learning objectives
1: The First Spy Scandal
2: Under Suspicion
3: Tokyo Reconsiders a Singapore Strategy
4: Another Singapore Spy Scandal
5: The Imperial Japanese Army Takes Charge
6: The Singapore Consulate and Fifth Columns
7: Final Measures, the Singapore Consulate and the KAME
Suggested Projects and Discussion Topics

Edward Drea PhD is a celebrated military historian and veteran. After military service in Japan and Vietnam, he received his M.A. in International Relations from Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, and his Ph.D. in modern Japanese history from the University of Kansas. In 2003, he was awarded the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize for lifetime achievement from the Society for Military History.

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