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Doctoral Project

Transwar Japanese Foreign Resource Trade, 1930–1960
Maksym Grinenko (M.A.)

The topic that is central to my research and one that has shaped itself through my interest in the Japanese postwar period is that of the nation’s resource situation and the development of resource acquisition through international trade with its former suppliers following the surrender. This includes non-renewable resources, such as anthracite and iron ore, but also lumber and fish. Due to Japan’s high level of integration into the American economic sphere under the Yoshida doctrine, initially this trade was conducted almost exclusively with the dollar and, to a lesser extent, sterling regions. By contrast, former sources of the aforementioned goods, most notably China and the Soviet Union, experienced a process of estrangement in their foreign relations with the Japan that from 1948 onwards was set on “reverse course” as a bulwark against Communism. As a result thereof, trade had dropped to unprecedented levels and in some years vanished from official records entirely. I am interested in how and, more importantly, why this trade resumed, and to what degree it was the cause and the effect of the later rapprochements.