Singapore: Recent developments in terrorism and Japan's role
The threat of terrorism to Singapore remains serious, given the spread of radical ideology in Southeast Asia. Aware that it is a prime terrorist target, Singapore's response has been the most vigorous of all the states in the region. It has instituted a comprehensive homeland security structure, stepped up security cooperation with the USA and has been at the forefront of many US-led counter-terrorism initiatives in the region. Japan's regional role is important as Japan cannot opt out of the global war on terrorism given its huge stake in the security of the Straits of Malacca and the stability of the littoral states. Japan's contribution lies in capacity building, in helping states build up their indigenous counter-terrorism capabilities. Japan also needs to take a much more proactive, strategic role in the Malay archipelago in regional “hearts and minds” strategies to counter radical ideology, as well as develop functional security linkages.