Japanese Expatriates in Singapore

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I carried out research on the Japanese business community in Singapore over the course of 22 months during the mid-1990s (1992-1994) and six months in the early 2000s. Here my main questions centered on what happens to Japanese men and their families when they leave Japan for an appointment abroad (usually for between three to five years). Alone or with my students from the National University of Singapore, I investigated such issues as golfing and drinking occasions, the internal workings of a Japanese book publisher, the lives of single Japanese women working in the island, and the models of the world that Japanese business men have.

Some of my writings about this subject were carried out with an anthropologist, a demographer, and an historian. In an edited book about the interlinkages between Japan and Singapore – done with Prof John Clammer of United Nations University in Tokyo and called “Japan in Singapore: Cultural Presences” – the emphasis was on compiling contributions from a variety of disciplines: anthropology, sociology, history, religious studies, and folklore.  Here we covered historical and contemporary issues as the entry of business corporations into the island, the conversion of Singaporeans to Japanese new religions, or the organizational life of Japanese businesses.



John Clammer and Eyal Ben-Ari (eds) Japan in Singapore: Cultural Presences. London: Curzon Press 2000. [Google Books]

Eyal Ben- Ari Golf, Organization, and ‘Body Projects’: Japanese Business Expatriates in Singapore. In Sepp Linhart and Sabine Fruehstueck (eds.): The Culture of Japan as Seen Through its Leisure. Albany: State University of New York Press. 139-61, 1998.

Eyal Ben-Ari Globalization, ‘Folk Models’ of the World Order and National Identity: Japanese Business Expatriates in Singapore. In Ian Reader and Marie Soderberg: Japan in Asia. London: Curzon Press 51-77, 1998.

Eyal Ben-Ari and Yong Yin Fong Vanessa Twice Marginalized: Single Japanese Female Expatriates in Singapore. In John Clammer and Eyal Ben-Ari (eds.): Japan in Singapore: Cultural Presences. Pp. 82-110. London: Curzon Press, 2000.

Mien Woon Ng and Eyal Ben-Ari Books, Consumption and the Movement of Japanese Business to Singapore. In John Clammer and Eyal Ben-Ari (eds.): Japan in Singapore: Cultural Presences. Pp. 112-31. London: Curzon Press, 2000.

Eyal Ben-Ari The Japanese in Singapore: The Dynamics of an Expatriate Community. In Roger Goodman, Ceri Peach, Ayumi Takenaka and Paul White (eds.) Global Japan: The Experience of Japan’s New Immigrants and Overseas Communities. London: RoutledgeCurzon. Pp. 116-30, 2003.

Eyal Ben-Ari The Culture of Japanese Businessmen in Singapore. In Timothy Tsu (ed.): Japan and Singapore: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Singapore: McGraw-Hill. Pp. 219-39, 2006.