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Title: Japan's Economic Relations with Africa between the Wars: A Study of Japanese Consular Reports
Authors: KITAGAWA, Katsuhiko
Keywords: Shipping line
Trading company
Commercial information
Economic relation
Between the Wars
Issue Date: Dec-1990
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African Study Monographs
Volume: 11
Issue: 3
Start page: 125
End page: 141
Abstract: This study consists of a provisional synthesis of research on Japan's economic relations with Africa based on an extensive examination of the pre-war Japanese consular reports regarding economic conditions in Africa. The purpose of this study is to interpret how economic relations between Japan and Africa developed. After the First World War, the number of commercial reports from Japanese consuls in various parts of Africa increased and the range of topics grew as well. Consular reports played a critically important role in extending overseas commercial knowledge to merchants and industrialists in Japan. In these reports, special attention was paid to the number and tonnage of ships passing through the Suez Canal in Egypt, as well as to the production of cotton and wool in British East Africa and the Union of South Africa, and to the sales of Japanese merchandise such as cotton textiles, knitwear, matches and brushes that had been exported to those areas. Japanese merchants and industrialists who dealt in cotton textiles found the Japanese domestic market size to be insufficient and greater attention came to be paid to such new markets as the Balkan States, the Middle East, and Africa. Given this situation, the establishment of a shipping line from Japan to Africa played a significant part in advancing Japan's trade with Africa. One of the Japanese shipping companies, Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK), opened the first line to South Africa in December 1916, and then, the East African line in march 1926. This enabled three large Japanese trading companies to open their branch offices in East Africa and these played an active role in expanding the export of East African cotton and made great efforts to send Japanese cotton cloth and artificial silk into the East African market.
DOI: 10.14989/68068
Appears in Collections:Vol.11 No.3

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