Japan was very active and destructive during the Second World War, to include South East Asia as part of their grand plan for a East Asia Co prosperity Sphere, ie the Japanese Imperialist Empire. And in their implementation of this plan for co prosperity of East Asia, it was not about stability but conquest. The plan was the invasion of Asia and South East Asia that led to great pains and sufferings and millions of death to Asians and South East Asians. The countries in the region were invaded and colonized and looted, their people raped and killed en mass.
When talking about stability and prosperity in Asia with the Japanese, one must not talk blindly, in a vacuum, unthinking and without reflecting on the meanings of such terms in the minds of the Japanese and to those who had suffered under Japanese brutality. For children born after the war, and if they did not read history or their parents did not tell them what happened then, they may think that Japanese are all wearing suits and ties and very nice people. They have different plans for the Asians and South East Asians, and stability and prosperity in Asia meant different things to them. And inviting the Japanese to sustain their roles in SE Asia, without qualifications, without understanding history, is a dangerous and uncalled for remarks.
Japan should be invited to play an active role in the prosperity of Asia from the economic point of view ONLY, and not security and definitely not a military one. People who don’t learn from history are likely to ignore history and repeat history and suffer the same consequences of their forbears.
Japan was not an angel like they want to present themselves today. Japan’s role in South East Asia in the past was that of an invader, an occupier, colonialist, imperialist, and barbaric, killing and looting Asia and SE Asia. No one in his right mind would want to invite Japan to play the same barbaric role as invaders and conquerors of Asian and SE Asian countries all over again.
The militarization of Japan and the tearing away of the Pacifist Constitutions should be taken heed, that Japan is reverting to its military past and wanting to go to war again. The Japanese ambition as a military power at the expense of Asia and South East Asia must not be simply forgotten and taken lightly. Invite the Japanese to grow and prosper with Asia and South East Asia, but the Japanese must be reminded that their military ways would not be welcomed unless these countries would not mind being invaded once again. Do SE Asians want to suffer the same fate as their forefathers under Japanese rule?
Singapore would not want to be ‘Syonan to’ once again. Singaporeans would not want to sing the Japanese national anthem once again. Singaporeans would not want to be butchered and beheaded and shot at point blank by Japanese soldiers and buried in Tanah Merah or Blakang Mati Beaches. The Singaporeans killed were literary digging their own graves, forced by the Japanese soldiers.
Singapore must really teach history all over again to make the young Singaporeans smarter and wiser, especially to those born after the war. Many did not know what they are talking about.