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Japanese Experts in Chinese Postwar Reconstruction: History, Legacy and Memory

April 3, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

International History Seminar Series
Georgetown Institute for Global History and Georgetown School of Foreign Service

Japanese Experts in Chinese Postwar Reconstruction: History, Legacy and Memory
Daqing Yang, George Washington University

It is well-known that in the wake of World War II, the leading Allied countries made use of scientists and engineers from defeated Nazi Germany. There are numerous books on Operation Paperclip or the famous rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. In contrast, that tens of thousands of Japanese scientific and technical experts remained to work in China or elsewhere in Asia after that war has largely escaped historians’ attention. Drawing from a wide range of sources in Japanese, Chinese and English languages, this study offers the first comprehensive history of this neglected subject. It examines the decisions by both Chinese Nationalists and Communists to make use of Japanese experts and skilled workers in fields ranging from industries to medical service to scientific research. It takes into consideration the attitudes of ordinary Chinese citizens as well as the government of the United States toward the presence of Japanese in China after the long and bloody conflict had ended. Above all, it sheds light on the multifaceted experience of these Japanese and assesses their contributions to the postwar reconstruction in China as well as their roles in the historical reconciliation between these two Asian neighbors.

Daqing Yang is an Associate Professor of History and International Affairs at the George Washington University, where he teaches modern Japanese history and co-directs the Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia Pacific program in the Elliott School of International Affairs. Between 2004-2007 he served as a historian consultant for the Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes and Imperial Japanese Government Documents at the U.S. National Archives. His research interests are in Japanese empire, the history and memory of the Asia-Pacific War, and historical reconciliation. His bookTechnology of Empire examines telecommunications networks and the history of Japanese empire-building. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming book Memory, Identity, and War Commemoration: Anniversary Politics in Asia Pacific. Other edited works include Communications under the Seas, Rethinking Historical Injustice and Reconciliation, and Toward a History Beyond Borders: Contentious Issues in Sino-Japanese Relations. A native of Nanjing, China, he received his PhD at Harvard University.

April 3, 2018 at 5:30 PM
The Mortara Center for International Studies
3600 N Street NW, Washington DC 20057


April 3, 2018
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm