The Philippines and Japan in America's Shadow

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Edited by Kiichi Fujiwara and Yoshiko Nagano, Preface by Kiichi Fujiwara and Yoshiko Nagano, Introduction by Kiichi Fujiwara, Contributions by Julian Go and Reynaldo C. Ileto and Temario C. Rivera and Oscar V. Campomanes and Floro C. Quibuyen and Yoshiko Nagano and Satoshi Nakano and Patricia O. Afable and Augusto Espiritu and Michiyo Yoneno-Reyes and Nobue Suzuki and Hiromu Shimizu

Japan and the Philippines both spent part of the twentieth century under American rule, and the experience left an indelible imprint on both societies. Conventional wisdom suggests that American rule in the Philippines, while clearly a form of colonialism, was mitigated by American reluctance to be a colonial power and by early steps to transfer government functions to Filipinos. Similarly, the American occupation of Japan is understood to represent a necessary transitional phase between autocracy and democracy.

The authors in this volume examine the issue from a wide range of perspectives (political science, history, anthropology, sociology and literature), and they suggest a different interpretation. American colonialism shows distinct characteristics of latecomer-colonialism, starting with the strong role of the state and the primacy of geopolitics. In contrast with other imperial powers, such as Britain, France and Japan, the Americans relied more on informal empire than on direct control of territory, an approach that suited an era when colonialism as such was increasingly difficult to defend. America's relations with the Philippines and with Japan after 1945, often seen as laying the foundations of a post-colonial system, were in fact the prototype of a world order based in part on latecomer-colonialism.


"The various chapters in this tome clearly deserve to be read by students of both Philippine studies and Japanese studies." - MCM Santamaria

"The book is well presented and, unlike most compendiums, actually provides a small index. This commendable study provides an indiciation of what can still be achieved with comparative studies of a tantalising theme when the central focus is maintained through diligent collaboration. It will have relevance for a range of scholars interested in the US and East Asian affairs." - Peter Sales


Kiichi Fujiwara is Professor of International Politics and Southeast Asian Studies in the Graduate Schools of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo.

Yoshiko Nagano is Professor of International Relations and Asian Studies at Kanagawa University in Yokohama, Japan. She is also the author of State and Finance in the Philippines, 1898-1941: The Mismanagement of an American Colony.


Publication Year: 2011
352 pages, 229mm x 153mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-469-2, Paperback

NUS Press