Title: Japan’s Development Assistance to Southeast Asia: Focusing on the Agricultural Development Fund 1965-1968
Stream: Comparative Studies of Asian and East Asian Studies
Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation (Live-Stream)
Yanfen Fan, Kyoto University, Japan
This study traces the development of Southeast Asia, which became more politicized as the Vietnam War unfolded, and how the Japanese government dealt with the expectations of the United States.
In April 1966, Japan held the First Ministerial Conference on Southeast Asian Development and announced promoting economic cooperation and regional cooperation. Unlike the Southeast Asian countries that emphasized their industrial development at the conference, Japan made agricultural development a supreme priority. Eventually, at the advocacy of the Japanese government, a Southeast Asian Agricultural Development Fund was established within the ADB. However, the investment in the fund was not smooth sailing. It went through complicated diplomatic negotiations not only within the Japanese government but also with Western countries. The fund was the most extensive and only appreciable achievement of the Council of Ministers for Development. To date, there is no research on the fund and its activities. This research shed light on the whole picture of Japan's economic diplomacy toward Southeast Asia by elucidating the decision-making process within the Japanese government and the negotiation process with the United States and other developed countries regarding the investment in the fund. The value of this study is to reexamine Japan-Southeast Asian relations during the Vietnam War from an economic perspective rather than the widely studied political philosophy.
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