News Archive
Aug 30, 2016 - Learning from past conflicts to build enduring peace and reconciliation: launch of the Singapore War Crime Trials web portal
An innovative new web portal was launched in August 2016, featuring information about the 131 war crime trials held in Singapore following World War II. The Singapore War Crimes Trials Web Portal aims to provide the public with one-stop access to the Singapore Trials by featuring comprehensive case summaries of these war crimes trials, and clear links to relevant archival materials hosted by other websites. These trials concerned not only atrocities committed by the Japanese military in Singapore, but also incidents in Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The portal was launched at an event at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law on August 29, 2016. Coinciding with the 92nd Voyage's call to the country, Peace Boat was invited to participate in this event and join the panel discussion. Co-organized by the Singapore Law Review, it featured Professor Woon Cheong Ming, Walter, SC of the National University of Singapore as keynote speaker. Following welcome notes by facilitators Dr Cheah Wui Ling and Ms Grace Teo, a panel discussion was held on the importance and relevance of the Singapore Trials. Here, Peace Boat's Kawasaki Akira joined the distinguished panel comprising of Ms Fiona Barnaby, Legal Advisor of the International Committee of the Red Cross; Singapore War Crimes Trials Web Portal Project Co-Researchers Dr Cheah Wui Ling and Ms Ng Pei Yi; and Ms Rina Lim, Founder of Quirk Pte Ltd. Kawasaki presented Peace Boat's experiences in researching Japan's wartime past, and advocating for reconciliation in the Asia Pacific region. The panel discussed the significance of researching and archiving historical facts regarding wartime atrocities, and the vital role such activities can play in preventing future conflicts.

The Second World War irrevocably changed the course of history and the lives of survivors, and its lessons continue to be relevant today. For enduring peace and reconciliation, it is necessary to understand the complexities and truth about the warfs impact and its aftermath. Projects such as the Singapore War Trials Web Portal can play a great role in furthering public understanding on these issues, providing a platform for education and stimulation of further research and dialogue.

The web portal can be accessed here:

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