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Economic Opportunity and Strategic Dilemma in Colonial Development: Britain, Japan and Malaya’s Iron Ore, 1920s to 1950s

White, NJ, Barwise, JM and Yacob, S (2019) Economic Opportunity and Strategic Dilemma in Colonial Development: Britain, Japan and Malaya’s Iron Ore, 1920s to 1950s. International History Review. ISSN 0707-5332

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Abstract

The importance of Malaya’s iron ore has been downgraded from both an economic and geo-strategic perspective. Under colonial administration, iron-ore mines owned and operated by Japanese enterprises and individuals, and the resultant exports to Japan, were central to economic development in the east-coast states of the peninsula. But this also made British Malaya a site of international contestation as Anglo–Japanese relations became estranged in the run up to World War Two in Asia and the Pacific. British administrators had to balance economic opportunity with strategic cost, and securing iron ore was a key factor in Japan’s occupation of Malaya after December 1941. Pre-war dilemmas resurfaced after the Pacific War. Nevertheless, exports to Japan both resumed and expanded. The combination of Japanese regeneration and Southeast Asian development in the context of the Cold War once again placed Malaya’s iron ore at the centre of geo-strategic and economic priorities for what was fast becoming the terminal colonial regime. This analysis is supported by the wide range of primary sources consulted from the records of the Malayan state administrations to British intelligence assessments, as well as the evaluation of quantitative data.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Nicholas J. White, J.M. Barwise & Shakila Yacob (2019) Economic Opportunity and Strategic Dilemma in Colonial Development: Britain, Japan and Malaya’s Iron Ore, 1920s to 1950s, The International History Review which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2018.1561491. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2103 Historical Studies
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 10:28
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2019 20:58
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9856

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