Japanese development consultancies and postcolonial power in southeast Asia

The case of burm0061’s Balu Chaung hydropower project

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Through investigating the construction of Japan’s first wartime reparations project—the Balu Chaung Hydropower Station Number Two in Burma—this article traces the formation of postcolonial power relationships within Japan’s postwar technical aid system in Southeast Asia. Kubota Yutaka and his colleagues at Nippon Kōei, the development consultancy that planned and supervised the project, had long careers constructing dams and other infrastructure throughout Japan’s former empire in Asia. This article examines how the visions, policies, expertise, and relationships from their colonial experiences were reconfigured in the 1950s through large-scale infrastructure projects into a new, postcolonial technical aid network linking the United States, Japan, and Southeast Asia during the Cold War. In addition to analyzing the reconstituted power relations at one particular site, this article also examines Japan’s unique position as a major donor and receiver of foreign aid, thereby complicating conventional narratives of an advanced “West” assisting a developing Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-322
Number of pages26
JournalEast Asian Science, Technology and Society
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Fingerprint

hydropower
Southeast Asia
Japan
infrastructure
reparations
expertise
recipient
career
narrative
experience

Keywords

  • Balu Chaung
  • Burma
  • Cold War
  • Hydropower
  • Japanese empire
  • Overseas development assistance
  • Postcolonial
  • Southeast Asia
  • Technical aid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

@article{c935a078de0f4840a1c474616de6bcd5,
title = "Japanese development consultancies and postcolonial power in southeast Asia: The case of burm0061’s Balu Chaung hydropower project",
abstract = "Through investigating the construction of Japan’s first wartime reparations project—the Balu Chaung Hydropower Station Number Two in Burma—this article traces the formation of postcolonial power relationships within Japan’s postwar technical aid system in Southeast Asia. Kubota Yutaka and his colleagues at Nippon Kōei, the development consultancy that planned and supervised the project, had long careers constructing dams and other infrastructure throughout Japan’s former empire in Asia. This article examines how the visions, policies, expertise, and relationships from their colonial experiences were reconfigured in the 1950s through large-scale infrastructure projects into a new, postcolonial technical aid network linking the United States, Japan, and Southeast Asia during the Cold War. In addition to analyzing the reconstituted power relations at one particular site, this article also examines Japan’s unique position as a major donor and receiver of foreign aid, thereby complicating conventional narratives of an advanced “West” assisting a developing Asia.",
keywords = "Balu Chaung, Burma, Cold War, Hydropower, Japanese empire, Overseas development assistance, Postcolonial, Southeast Asia, Technical aid",
author = "Aaron Moore",
year = "2014",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1215/18752160-2416662",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
pages = "297--322",
journal = "East Asian Science, Technology and Society",
issn = "1875-2160",
publisher = "Duke University Press",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Japanese development consultancies and postcolonial power in southeast Asia

T2 - The case of burm0061’s Balu Chaung hydropower project

AU - Moore, Aaron

PY - 2014/9/1

Y1 - 2014/9/1

N2 - Through investigating the construction of Japan’s first wartime reparations project—the Balu Chaung Hydropower Station Number Two in Burma—this article traces the formation of postcolonial power relationships within Japan’s postwar technical aid system in Southeast Asia. Kubota Yutaka and his colleagues at Nippon Kōei, the development consultancy that planned and supervised the project, had long careers constructing dams and other infrastructure throughout Japan’s former empire in Asia. This article examines how the visions, policies, expertise, and relationships from their colonial experiences were reconfigured in the 1950s through large-scale infrastructure projects into a new, postcolonial technical aid network linking the United States, Japan, and Southeast Asia during the Cold War. In addition to analyzing the reconstituted power relations at one particular site, this article also examines Japan’s unique position as a major donor and receiver of foreign aid, thereby complicating conventional narratives of an advanced “West” assisting a developing Asia.

AB - Through investigating the construction of Japan’s first wartime reparations project—the Balu Chaung Hydropower Station Number Two in Burma—this article traces the formation of postcolonial power relationships within Japan’s postwar technical aid system in Southeast Asia. Kubota Yutaka and his colleagues at Nippon Kōei, the development consultancy that planned and supervised the project, had long careers constructing dams and other infrastructure throughout Japan’s former empire in Asia. This article examines how the visions, policies, expertise, and relationships from their colonial experiences were reconfigured in the 1950s through large-scale infrastructure projects into a new, postcolonial technical aid network linking the United States, Japan, and Southeast Asia during the Cold War. In addition to analyzing the reconstituted power relations at one particular site, this article also examines Japan’s unique position as a major donor and receiver of foreign aid, thereby complicating conventional narratives of an advanced “West” assisting a developing Asia.

KW - Balu Chaung

KW - Burma

KW - Cold War

KW - Hydropower

KW - Japanese empire

KW - Overseas development assistance

KW - Postcolonial

KW - Southeast Asia

KW - Technical aid

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84906961654&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84906961654&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1215/18752160-2416662

DO - 10.1215/18752160-2416662

M3 - Article

VL - 8

SP - 297

EP - 322

JO - East Asian Science, Technology and Society

JF - East Asian Science, Technology and Society

SN - 1875-2160

IS - 3

ER -