Seventh Asian Studies Conference Japan
    Saturday, June 21-Sunday 22, 2003
    Ichigaya Campus of Sophia University



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Contact the organizers: Asian Studies Conference (ASCJ) c/o Institute of Asian Cultural Studies, International Christian University 3-10-2 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181


Session 21
Individual Paper Session: Colonial and Postcolonial Politics

1) Arnold P. Kaminsky, California State University, Long Beach. "Political Warfare and Propaganda in India During World War II"

As World War II approached, India seemed at the very heart of the British Empire. Indeed, for a time, it seemed to be at the very nexus of the war as the focal point of troop and material supply to the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia. Within this context, Britain had to deal with the imposition of political exigencies (especially the competing nationalisms of the Indian National Congress [led by Mahatma Gandhi] and the Muslim League [led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah]) into the strategic arena, which created a dilemma for the British with regard to the way in which India's man-power and material resources could be and should be mobilized for the war effort. Strategic and military considerations escalated considerably after Pearl Harbor and the Japanese blitzkrieg in Malaya and Burma brought the war right up to India's eastern frontier. The complexity of maintaining political stability in India and conducting the war, while at the same time honoring her pledge to move toward granting independence, strained British nerves considerably both at home and in India. It was a situation exacerbated (from the British perspective) by the increasingly active involvement of the United States in Indian affairs--diplomatically, economically, and of course, militarily. Some 250,000 Americans served in India during the war.

In an effort to control the internal political situation in India, to sustain the war effort in South and Southeast Asia, and to minimize American political and economic penetration of her Asian dominions in general, Britain embarked on a carefully charted course of political warfare and propaganda. The India Office--the U.K. Department of State responsible for Indian affairs--had to work with several full-fledged propaganda agencies in Britain when the war started: the Ministry of Information (MOI) and the Department of Propaganda to Enemy Countries based at Electra House. Department EH, as it was known, ultimately evolved into the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and then the Political Warfare Executive (PWE). The India Office had its own Information Department from the 1920's, as did the Government of India (GOI) in New Delhi from 1930. The MOI had liaison arrangements with all major departments in the United Kingdom as well as with the BBC and major newspapers. The MOI was supposed to coordinate information about the war for consumption domestically and in Allied and neutral countries, while the PWE was eventually charged with a similar task in enemy and enemy-occupied areas. However, from the start relations between these units were strained.

This paper will discuss some of the institutions and strategies that evolved during World War II with regard to British India. The essay identifies the bureaucratic mechanisms in place during the war to handle questions related to Propaganda and the Raj in England, India/Southeast Asia, and the United States. This discussion highlights both intra- and intergovernmental differences regarding the content, context and implementation of political warfare and propaganda in South and Southeast Asia. It was "the mother of all turf wars," with no less that seventeen agencies trying to control information about wartime India at home and abroad, often with full attention to Japanese advances on the Indian border.

2) Minkyu Kim, Hongik University. "The Transmutation of the Modern East Asian World Order and the Sino-Japanese Amity Regulations, 1871ÅFThe Creation of the 'Regulation System'"

As China lost the Opium War and consequently concluded the Anglo-Chinese Treaty of Nanking (1842), East Asia was pressed to discard its traditional Sinocentrism- and Confucianism-based tribute system, and to adopt a treaty system, which was grounded on Wan-kuo kung-fa, or western international law. Conventional studies of this historical turning point have exposed their western-oriented, dichotomous approach to history by presenting an image of East Asian countries easily giving in to western pressure. In an attempt to challenge the established historical view, this paper clarifies that "Sino-Japanese amity regulations, 1871" was not a t'iao-yueh (treaty) but t'iao-kuei (regulations), contrary to the general misconception arising from its formal semblance to a treaty, so that it was termed a "Sino-Japanese amity treaty," which placed China and Japan on equal footings. This paper further demonstrates that the "regulations" of 1871 marked the creation of yet another world order and proposes to call it the "regulation system." The regulation system, structured on the principle of the tribute system and subsuming the treaty system as a subordinative part by partially adopting its formality, functioned until China's defeat in the Sino-Japanese War and the resultant conclusion of the Treaty of Shimonoseki Treaty (1895).

3) Shinnosuke Tama, Iwate University. "What were the Reasons behind the Wartime Immigration of Japanese Farmers to Manchuria?"

In her book entitled "Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism," Louise Young has offered a new interpretation of Japanese wartime immigration to Manchuria. In her study, Young made good use of materials such as the magazines circulated among farmers during the so-called "Manchurian Boom." She attributed the reason for the "relative success" of the Manchurian immigration program not only to government measures but to the eagerness among small farmers themselves. I would like to offer a different perspective of Manchurian immigration. Because domestic food supply was becoming a top priority of the Japanese total war system, the government thought that increased immigration to and expanded land reclamation efforts in Manchuria could alleviate these domestic food shortfalls. Moreover, agricultural economists and policymakers wanted to use immigration policy to bring about the structural reform of domestic agriculture. They thought that by sending almost half of its farmers to Manchuria they could increase the scale of farming in Japan.

4) Hui-yu Caroline Ts'ai, Academia Sinica. "Total War, 'Modernity' and the 'Sphere' as a Discourse"

The two mainstream discourses in the 20th century were nationalism and imperialism. In prewar Japan, moreover, the empire is commonly acknowledged as "Asia," built upon the affinity of cultures and races. From an imperialism developed along the universal and progressive values of "the modern" at the height of the era of "new imperialism," Japan had in the inter-war period come to terms with the rise of nationalism without and of democracy within. The Sino-Japanese War beginning in 1931 forced Japan to revise the formula, thus replacing the west-inspired model with an instrumental one, which came to take form as the "Great East-Asian Co-prosperity Sphere." The discourse on the "Sphere" served as a counter discourse against the West. It was both all-inclusive and all-exclusive. It was all-inclusive, as it was "Asian-" based, appealing to a hierarchical ranking of "East" cultures, races, values, nations, etc. It was all-exclusive, as it was instrumentally targeted against the West, excluding all elements that was western, white, and "modern." Both discourses, however, were again developed along the West-inspired divides. So long as, moreover, modern Japan appropriated culture and race for the war, it had to conflate this modernity into the twin discourses of culture and race. As such, the "Sphere" was meant to displace, not to replace, the "Modern." It was precisely their failure to disentangle culture and race from modernity in a rush to make an "instrumental imperialism" for the war that prevented the Japanese from confronting the question of colonialism, both in the wartime and during the postwar period. Meanwhile, however, the wartime formation of the "Sphere" contributed to the rise of regionalism, where de-colonization-rather than post-colonialism-was the dominant theme for research.

5) Mariko Urano, Georgetown University. "Inventing Tradition: Reinvention of Adat by the State and Challenging Actors in Colonial and Modern Indonesia"

This paper examines the historical development of adat (tradition) discourse in Indonesia. As the dominant ideology guiding peasant social movements, the adat is widely perceived as representing genuine cultural elements of the rural populations in Indonesia. In this paper, I argue that the concept of adat as known today is in fact a product of the past state policies as well as strategic framing efforts of it by non-state actors who sought to use it to promote peasants' land interests. The concept of adat had been promoted by the Indonesian state since the Dutch colonial period as the dominant ideology of its rural policies. During the New Order period under the Suharto regime, social actors, specifically NGOs, appropriated the adat discourse to express concern about the adverse effects of the state-promoted timber development on the lives of the peasants. Many peasant communities in the resource rich Outer-Island began to assert their land right using the adat in the early 1990s with the aid of environmental NGOs. Under the repressive Suharto regime, referring to the state sanctioned adat was one of the "safe" discourses available to the peasants and activists to use in their protest against the government.The development of the adat discourse as an ideology of indigenous social movements in Indonesia can be well understood with the use of concepts drawn from the Social Movement Theory. More specifically, the process of cultural framing as well as political opportunities and constraints facing societal actors will shed light on this important development in modern Indonesian society.


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