“This is an excellent collection of articles written by Japan’s foremost historian of Japan’s evolving relations with Southeast Asia during the 20th century. Goto refutes the widely held view that Japan invaded Southeast Asia in 1941 to liberate Asian people from Western Colonialism.”
The Japan Times
“These essays by one of Japan’s most distinguished scholars of Southeast Asia are the product of a long period of research into Japan’s relations with Southeast Asia during the 1930s and 1940s, and on into the postwar era. Written in a nonpartisan spirit, they offer great insight into diverse Japanese perceptions of the region, and interactions between individual Japanese and individual Southeast Asians during this crucial period.”
Paul H. Kratoska, Department of History, National University of Singapore
Beginning with the closing decade of European colonial rule in Southeast Asia and covering the wartime Japanese empire and its postwar disintegration, Tensions of Empire focuses on the Japanese in Southeast Asia, Indonesians in Japan, and the legacy of the war in Southeast Asia. It also examines Japanese perceptions of Southeast Asia and the lingering ambivalence toward Japanese involvement in Asia and toward the war in particular.
Drawing on extensive multilingual archival research and interviews, Ken'ichi Goto has produced a factually rich and balanced view of this region's historical events of the last century.
Tensions of Empire features detailed discussions of Portuguese Timor in the 1930s and 1940s, the decolonization of Malaya, and twentieth-century Indonesia. This extended inquiry yields a unique view of the complicated network within and beyond the colonial and imperial relationships between a one-time nonwestern colonial power and an entire region.
Of great interest to students of Japan-Southeast Asia relations and to specialists in the modern history of both Southeast Asia and Japan, Professor Goto's Tensions of Empire is a fascinating account of Japan's recent past from the inside.
Ken’ichi Goto is a professor of international relations at the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies and a former director of the Institute of Social Sciences at Waseda University, Tokyo. His publications include Returning to Asia: Japan-Indonesia Relations, 1930s—1942 and International Relations Surrounding Portuguese Timor, 1900—1945 (in Japanese).
Paul Kratoska teaches Southeast Asian history at the National University of Singapore.
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