Wilson Center Experts

Toyomi Asano

Wilson Center Fellow
Asia Program
Cold War International History Project

Contact Information:
T 202/691-4052 // F 202/691-4001
Cold War
International Development
Professor of Political History, Chukyo University, Japan
Wilson Center Project(s):
"Strategic Use of Economic Cooperation and the Formation of the US-Japan Special Relationship: A Case of Postwar Japan’s Reparations and Foreign Aid to Asia"
Apr 01, 2015
Jul 30, 2015

ASANO Toyomi is a professor of political history and international relations at Chukyo University. He graduated from doctoral course of the Graduate school of Advanced Social and International Studies in Tokyo University in 1998, affiliated as a research associate with Asia-Pacific Research Center of Waseda University 1998-2000, inaugurated to be a professor in Chukyo University in 2000, receiving Ph.D. from Tokyo University in 2009. He had also been affiliated with Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University as a visiting fellow 1994- 1995, Modern Chinese History research Center in Academica Sinica in Taiwan 1999, Sigur Center in Elliot School of George Washington University 2006-2007, Asiatic Research Center in Korea University 2009 as a visiting scholar. He won the 25th Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize in June 2009 and the Yoshida Shigeru Prize in March 2009 as an author of ‘Teikoku Nihon-no Shokuminchi Housei (Japanese Empire in the Nation State System by Legal Analysis).'

Project Summary

This project will analyze Japan’s reparations to its Asian neighbors as a historical origin of economic cooperation to date. Based on historical documents housed in the U.S. National Archives and other repositories, it will explain the policy-making process in which Japan’s reparations turned into foreign aid to developing countries. More specifically, it will demonstrate how the United States harnessed Japan’s postwar financial commitment to Asia as leverage to control the region and promote its peaceful cooperation against communism. The strategic use of Japan’s economic cooperation, however, had an unexpected effect of overshadowing its original meaning—Japan’s formal acceptance of the responsibility for war and colonialism. This shift in the nature of Japan’s aid to Asia sowed the seed of the so-called “history question” (rekishi mondai), which has been troubling Japan’s foreign policies toward its Asian neighbors even to present.

Major Publications

Teikoku Nihon-no Shokuminchi Housei, (Japanese Empire in the Nation State System by Legal Analysis), Nagoya University Press, 2008.

“Historical perceptions of Taiwan's Japan era.” Toward a History Beyond Borders: Contentious Issues in Sino-Japanese Relations: Harvard East Asian Monographs ed. By Daqing Yang, Jie Liu, Hiroshi Mitani, Andrew Gordon, Harvard University Asia Center, April 2012, pp. 229-339.

“Between the Collapse of the Japanese Empire and the Normalization of the Relations with South Korea,” in Kimitaka Matsuzato ed. Comparative Imperiology 1. (Slavic Research Center of Hokkaido University, 2009) pp. 109-129.

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