From Imperial Engineers to Development Consultants: Japanese Engineers and the Formation of the Post-Colonial, Cold War System of Development in Asia

Date and Time: February 2, 2016 - 5:00am to 6:30am
Location: COOR 6615
Campus: Tempe campus
Price: Free

Center for Asian Research A.T. Steele Lecture SeriesThrough examples from the construction of some large-scale hydropower projects in Burma, South Vietnam, and South Korea, my talk will trace the formation of post-colonial power relationships within Japan’s post-World War II technical aid system in Asia. Kubota Yutaka and his colleagues at Nippon Kōei, the development consultancy, which planned and supervised the projects, had long careers constructing dams and other infrastructure throughout Japan’s former empire in Asia. I examine how the visions, policies, expertise, and networks from their colonial experiences were reconfigured in the 1950s and 1960s through large-scale infrastructure projects into a new, postcolonial technical aid network linking the United States, Japan, and Asia during the Cold War. Challenging a US-centered narrative of the Cold War in Asia, this talk focuses on how Japan’s aid relations with newly independent Asian nations configured the Cold War system in Asia.

Department: Center for Asian Research
Contact: Lora Kile
Phone: 480-727-4153