See how Total Defence Day has evolved through the years

A total defence poster from 1985.
A total defence poster from 1985.

SINGAPORE - Total Defence Day, celebrated annually on Feb 15, serves as a reminder that on this day in 1942, Singapore fell to the Japanese. 

Since 1984, the Defence Ministry has released posters that correspond to the different themes of Total Defence. The change in themes, from the earlier focus on conventional warfare and a nation rallying around the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to an increased focus on non-conventional threats and personal responsibility, is reflected in the posters. 

Defence analyst Ho Shu Huang from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said that military and civil defence were the most visible pillars in earlier campaigns and posters while the rest tended to be in the background. 

Colonel Tan Boon Kiat, director of Nexus, Mindef, said: "In response to the changing landscape, Total Defence evolved to reflect more personal ways in which Singaporeans can play their part to keeping Singapore strong."

This year's tagline, Together We Keep Singapore Strong, suggests that Singapore's strength has to be maintained "through regular effort, in particular, social and psychological defence, and the concept of resilience", Mr Ho added.

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