New Perspectives on the Japanese Occupation of Malaya and Singapore, 1941-45 is largely drawn from a Japanese-language volume titled Nippon Senryoka no Eiryo Maraya/Shingaporu [British Malaya and Singapore under the Japanese Occupation], published in Tokyo by Iwanami Shoten Publishers in 2001. Two articles that appeared in the original volume (by Masutani Satoshi on Chinese literature on World War II in Southeast Asia and by Yamazaki Isao on the natural resource in South Borneo) are not included in this English edition because of the topics and region. The article by Hayashi (Chapter 9) is added.
Information on the Japanese Occupation of Malaya and Singapore is sparse, and Japanese-language materials are particularly difficult to find because the Japanese military systematically destroyed war-related documents when the war ended. The contributors to this volume participated in a Forum that spent four years locating surviving materials relating to the Occupation of Malaya. The group had three objectives: to collect primary sources, to interview Japanese military and civilian officials who took part in the military administration and people in Malaysia and Singapore who experienced the period, and to publish the results of the studies.
Based on interviews with Japanese, Malaysians and Singaporeans who lived through the war years and materials gathered from archives and libraries in Britain, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Australia, and India, the Forum has produced a number of Japanese-language publications. This book makes available some of their research findings in English. Topics covered include the Watanabe Military Administration, Japanese research activities in Malaya, Japan’s Economic Policies, Malayan Communist Party Leaders and the Anti-Japanese Resistance, the Massacre of Chinese in Singapore, Railway Transportation during the Japanese Occupation Period, The Singapore Internment Camp for Allied Civilian Women, and the Japanese Surrender.