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Seminars & Symposiums

Asia-Pacific Studies Seminar at Osaka University (21 July at Toyonaka Campus)

2018-7-21 (Sat) 10:00 - 13:00

Asia-Pacific Studies Seminar at Osaka University

Date: 21 July 2018 (Saturday)

Venue: Large Conference Room, 2nd floor of Graduate School of Language and Culture Building, Toyonaka Campus, Osaka University (Toyonaka Campus Map, #1)

Session 1: 10:00 – 11:00

Koji ITO (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Title: Whose Bristol Bay Incident? A U.S.-Japan Fishery Dispute in Alaskan Waters, the Great Depression, and Shifting International Geopolitics in the 1930s

Abstract: This paper discusses the Bristol Bay Incident of 1937-38, a U.S.-Japan dispute over salmon in Alaskan waters. More specifically, this paper examines why the fishery trouble, which originally broke out as a minor, local problem, soon attracted much attention of Americans across geographical lines and finally developed into a crucial diplomatic problem between the U.S. and Japan. This paper argues that the Bristol Bay Incident meant a significant problem not only for fishing industry leaders but also for the American public and government officials because more than protecting salmon in Alaskan waters was at stake in the fishery dispute. Previous scholars have looked at the Bristol Bay Incident with focus on fishing industry leaders and interpreted that they successfully mobilized the American public, Congressmen and government officials into supporting their goal of excluding Japanese fishermen from Alaskan waters. I challenge the predecessors’ explanation that overemphasizes the fishing industry leaders’ influence on shaping the U.S. response to the fishery question. Using unpublished State Department records, this paper shows that the public and government officials proactively reacted to the Bristol Bay Incident based on their concerns about America’s food security, national security, national identity, and access to submarine resources. This paper also reveals that the Bristol Bay Incident’s development was inseparable from domestic socioeconomic changes caused by the Great Depression and also from international geopolitical shifts produced by Japan’s imperial adventure in Manchuria and China.

*Ito’s seminar paper is now available for participants

Chair and Discussant:

Thomas French (Ritsumeikan University)

Session 2: 11:10 – 12:10

Akiko Sato (Osaka University)

Title: Reception and Transformation of Science and Technology: Quality Control of Public Health in Occupied Japan (1945-1952)


The purpose of this paper is to answer the research question why the United States vigorously promoted reception of quality control when it introduced its science and technology in the field of public health in occupied Japan, especially in 1950. The United States administered by President Harry S. Truman played the center role in occupied Japan.

This paper examines the reason based on the following hypothesis: The Public Health and Welfare Section (PHW) led by Chief Crawford F. Sams, General Head Quarters (GHQ) of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) strongly expected the power of pharmaceutical industry in Japan to produce larger volume of higher quality pharmaceutical products at lower cost. PHW also expected such activities mainly decreased high mortality rate in Japan and supported the whole volume of pharmaceutical products in Japan.

In the previous works, GHQ considered Japan was necessary to reorganize science and technology for its objectives including economic reconstruction, democratization and non-militarization. The United States expected Japan to be its supply base in Asia by returning to the global capitalist system. Additionally, the previous works treated the public health in occupied Japan from the viewpoints of public sector, namely, healthcare administration by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) or PHW.

However, the author humbly adds that reduction of the mortality rate of Japanese people was an indispensable condition for GHQ because GHQ was responsible for Japan to achieve the above objectives. Only with reduction of the mortality rate, Japan could secure the labor force and increase the number of personnel who worked on the task.

Considering security of the labor force to achieve the objectives, this paper explains the Economic and Science Section (ESS) led by Chief, William Frederick Marquat, GHQ of the SCAP introduced the quality control method. It was one of measures to reorganize Japanese science and technology in collaboration between industry, universities, governments and civilians in Japan.

Especially, this paper argues that statistical quality control (SQC) advocated by Dr. William Edwards Deming (hereinafter called “Deming”) and its transformed methods, total quality control (TQC) or total quality management (TQM), contributed to manufacturing larger volume and better quality of Japanese industrial products at lower cost in occupied Japan. In the field of public health, the SQC contributed to improving supply of pharmaceutical products centering anti-tuberculosis (TB) drugs. As a logical consequence, larger volume and better quality of pharmaceutical products at lower cost decreased the tuberculosis (TB) mortality rate that had been the leading cause of death not only in Japan but also in the world for more than thirty years.

The significance of this paper is to show the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry in the private sector in occupied Japan more rapidly met the indispensable condition to reduce the mortality rate by using the SQC than the public sector did.

Chair and Discussant:

Thomas French (Ritsumeikan University)

Cultural Exchange over Lunch Obento: 12:15-13:00

Date: 2018-7-21 (Sat) 10:00 - 13:00
Venue: Large Conference Room, 2nd floor of Graduate School of Language and Culture Building, Toyonaka Campus, Osaka University (Toyonaka Campus Map, #1)
Registration: Registration by email is required for this seminar.
Contact: Yone Sugita

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