Introduction — to Explain the Early Rapprochement

Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


Kaneko Mitsuharu, a Japanese poet, visited British Malaya in 1930, staying for a while at the Japanese Club in Batu Pahat, Johore as a base for visiting Japanese rubber plantations and iron mines in the vicinity. Writing about the population growth encouraged by the development of Japanese-owned plantations since the early 1910s, he observed that what had once been a tiny settlement with only a few houses now had a population of some 40000, 80 per cent of it overseas Chinese and including some 450 Japanese nationals. He continued:

Among the Chinese who earn their living by working for or dealing with the Japanese, anti-Japanese propaganda from Singapore has not had any success. Government officials keep a close eye on the Chinese, in fact, to avoid offending the Tuan Jippon [Japanese sirs] who are important land-tax payers. … With the current rubber recession, however, it is only iron mining that sustains the local economy.1 He then went up river to the Japanese iron mine at Sri Medan, his boat helped to cross the Simpang Kiri confluence by Malay ferrymen. In contrast to Batu Pahat, where people still must use gas lamps, here in Sri Medan, although deep in the mountains, every household ha s electricity and the lights bloom in the dusk. … I dined this evening with some Japanese, all of them bachelors, at their club.2


Iron Mining Secondary Literature Political Rapprochement Prewar Period Japanese Prime Minister 
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Copyright information

© Junko Tomaru 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of International Cooperation StudiesKobe UniversityJapan

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