Advertisement

Transportation and Rice Distribution in South-East Asia during the Second World War

  • Aiko Kurasawa
Chapter
Part of the Studies in the Economies of East and South-East Asia book series (SEESEA)

Abstract

South-East Asia experienced grave rice shortages during the Second World War as a result of increasing demand on the part of the Japanese and maladministration of the wartime economy. Before the war there were three big rice-surplus areas in the region; the largest was Burma, which produced an average of 4.9 million tons of white rice annually between 1936 and 19401 and exported 3 million tons.2 Then followed French Indochina, with production of about 6.5 million tons and exports 1.5 million tons.3 The other rice-surplus country was Thailand, which produced about 3 million tons and exported half of this amount.4 Thus these three areas accounted for exports of approximately 6 million tons of rice annually in the pre-war period.5 Part of this grain was sent to nearby rice-deficit countries, such as the Philippines, British Malaya, the Straits Settlements, British Borneo, and the Netherlands East Indies. Among these territories, British Malaya had the largest deficit, and imported about 700 000 tons annually during the 1930s.6 After the needs of these South-East Asian countries had been met, large rice-surpluses remained which were exported to South Asia, East Asia and Europe.

Keywords

Rice Mill Railway System Rice Distribution Deficit Area Japanese Occupation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 4.
    James C. Ingram, Economic Change in Thailand, 1850–1970 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1971), pp. 38, 53. Between 1935 and 1939 exports averaged 25 370 000 piculs or about 1.5 million tons per year. Total production was 4.4 million tons of paddy per year.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Regarding the Rice Control Law in Japan, see B.F. Johnson, Japanese Food Management in World War II (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1953); Akemitsu Kubota, Senjika no Shokuryo to Nogyo Kiko [Food and Agricultural Structure during the War] (Tokyo: Jitsugyo no Nihonsha, 1943); Naoji Suzuki, Kome: Jiyu to Tosei no Rekishi [Rice: History of its Free and Controlled Economy] (Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha, 1974).Google Scholar
  3. 20.
    Lee Ting Hui, ‘Singapore under the Japanese 1942–1945’, in Journal of the South Seas Society 17 (April 1961): 31–69.Google Scholar
  4. 23.
    J.S. Furnivall, An Introduction to the Political Economy of Burma (Rangoon: Peoples’ Literature Committee and House, 1983) (3rd rev. edn.), p. 106. The citation is from the Japanese translation, entitled Biruma no Keizai (Tokyo: Toa Kenkyusho, 1942), p. 135.Google Scholar
  5. 28.
    J. Russell Andrus offered this estimate in a book that he wrote in Simla in India in 1944 based on intelligence reports. Josef Silverstein, ‘Transportation in Burma during the Japanese Occupation’, Journal of the Burma Research Society, 39 (1956): 2.Google Scholar
  6. 31.
    Nihon Yusen Kabushikikaisha (ed.), 70 Nenshi [70 Years of History] (1956), pp. 366–7, and Ota, Biruma ni okeru Nihon Gunseishi no Kenkyu p. 220.Google Scholar
  7. 35.
    Tokuhisa Hashimoto, Nihon Mokuzousenshiwa [History of Wooden Boats in Japan] (Tokyo: Hasegawa Shobo, 1952), p. 340–55.Google Scholar
  8. 56.
    Katsumasa Harada (ed.), Daitoa Jukan Tetsudo Kankei Shorui (Tokyo: Fuji Shuppan 1988), pp. 109–116. Yoshikawa also makes this point in his newly published book on the Burma—Thai Railway. See Toshiharu Yoshikawa, Taimen Tetsudo [Burma-Thai Railway] (Tokyo: Dobunkan, 1994), pp. 18–20.Google Scholar
  9. 63.
    Nederlandsch Oost Indië, Het Centraal Kantoor voor de Statistiek van het Departement van Economische Zaken, Indisch Verstag 1940 (Batavia: Landsdrukkerij, 1940), p. 282.Google Scholar
  10. 68.
    Shizuo Miyamoto, Tonan Ajia Rengogun no Shusenshori (Tokyo, 1975), p. 482.Google Scholar
  11. 90.
    Twang Peck Yang, ‘Indonesian Chinese Business Communities in Transformation, 1940–50’ (Ph.D. diss., Australian National University, 1987), p. 68.Google Scholar
  12. 124.
    Cheah Boon Kheng, ‘The Social Impact of the Japanese Occupation of Malaya (1942–1945)’, in Alfred McCoy (ed.), South-East Asia under Japanese Occupation (New Haven: Yale University South-East Asia Studies, 1980), p. 93.Google Scholar
  13. 125.
    Low Ngiong Ing, When Singapore was Syonan-To (Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, 1973), p. 62.Google Scholar
  14. 127.
    Ghazali bin Mayudin, Johor Semasa Pendudukan Jepun 1942–1945 (Selangor: Jabatan Sejarah, Universitas Kebangasaan Malaysia, 1978), pp. 49–50.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aiko Kurasawa

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations