1940년대 동아시아 지역주의의 세 유형과 한국

East Asian Regionalisms and Korea in the 1940’s*

Article information

Int J Korean Hist. 2014;19(1):101-125
Publication date (electronic) : 2014 February 28
doi : https://doi.org/10.22372/ijkh.2014.19.1.101
**HK Research Professor, Asiatic Research Institute, Korea Univesity, Seoul, ROK
**고려대 아세아문제연구소 HK 연구교수
Received 2014 January 24; Revised 2014 February 7; Accepted 2014 February 28.


이 논문은 미국의 동아시아 지역 내 중국 대국화 구상과 일본의 비군사화 및 민주화 구상이라는 커다란 정책 구상 속에서 1940년대를 중심으로 동아시아를 둘러싼 지역주의의 여러 유형과 그 속에서의 한국의 위치에 대한 고찰을 목적 으로 한다. 전후 동아시아 지역주의 문제를 분석할 때, 동아시아 냉전에 의해 형성된 측면만이 아니라 ‘세기 전환기’부터 형성되어 온 동북아시아 지역의 지 역구조가 아시아 태평양 전쟁을 경계로 재구축되었다. 1940년대 전반부터 일본 은 대동아공영권을 제시하면서, 동아시아 지역질서 속에서의 패권국의 지위를 자기 정당화하는 지역질서 논리를 드러냈다. 또한 패전 후 나타날 일본의 식민 지 처리를 둘러싼 미국과 일본의 전후 처리 구상이 동아시아 지역질서 구상과 깊은 관련 속에서 나타났다.

제2차 세계대전에서 승리한 미국은 이미 세계 대국이란 위상 속에서 미국, 영국, 중국, 소련을 주축으로 강대국간 협조를 전제로 한 4대 경찰국가 구상을 드러냈다. 일본은 패전 상황 속에서 생존전략을 안출했다. 이러한 구상들은 전 쟁이 한창인 1940년대 전반기부터 동아시아 지역에 대한 광역권 인식이었다는 점에서 전쟁 시기의 현상 인식과 전후의 전망 사이의 연속성 속에서 1940년대 의 의미를 찾아보았다.

1940년대 동아시아 지역에는 다음 세 가지 유형의 지역주의가 등장했다. 첫 번째 유형은 일본을 역내 패권국으로 하는 동아시아 지역질서 구상이다. 제국 일본은 역내패권을 유지하기 위한 경제적 내선일체론 속에서 한국의 의미를 부 여하였다.두 번째 유형은 역외패권국으로서의 미국이 동아시아 지역 내 하위 파트너로 서 중국을 선택하고 수평적 산업분업을 기조로 일본을 억제하고자 한 구상이었 다. 미국은 일본의 식민지경제 지배력을 약화시키려는 목표 속에서 한일 간의 경제적 관계를 단절시키고자 하였다.

세 번째 유형은 냉전이 동아시아에 확산되자 지역 내 하위파트너로 일본을 선택한 미국의 동아시아 수직적 산업분업을 통한 지역경제통합 구상이었다. 미 국은 첫 번째 유형의 부분적 도입을 계획했지만 자신의 통제 하에 일본을 둠으 로써 동아시아 냉전에서 자신의 영역을 확보하고자 했던 것이다. 이 구상 속에 서 한국은 미국의 관리 하에서 일본과의 경제적 통합 대상으로 규정되었다. 냉 전으로 인한 동아시아 지역의 분단은 첫 번째 유형에서 활용되었던 산업연관구 조가 붕괴함으로써 동아시아 지역질서는 새로운 재조정을 겪어야 했으며, 그것 은 동아시아 지역에서의 한국의 위치 규정에 결정적 영향을 주었다.

Trans Abstract

This paper seeks to consider the various types of regionalisms in East Asia during the 1940’s, and Korea’s position in the United States’ “Great China Policy” and demilitarization and democratization plans for Japan. After World War II, although aspects of regionalism were formed by the Cold War in East Asia, the regional structure of Northeast Asia was originally formed from the ‘turn of the century’ through the Asian Pacific War. From the beginning of the 1940’s, Japan promoted the idea of a “Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere” in order to justify its hegemonic position in the East Asian regional order. In addition, the United States and Japan’s readjustment plans appeared to be related to strategies regarding the regional order of East Asia.

During World War II, the victorious U.S. had already become one of the world’s superpowers and by principle, collaboration between the superpowers (United States, Great Britain, China, and the Soviet Union) revealed an initiative for a four country police state. Japan devised a survival strategy in the case of its defeat. During the war in the early 1940’s, these policies and plans were used to recognize Großraum around the East Asian region. This paper points out the significance of the 1940’s and the continuity between the awareness of the wartime situation and the prospective situation during the postwar period.

During the 1940’s, three forms of regionalism in East Asia appeared. The first was Japan’s regional hegemony over the East Asian regional order. In order to preserve regional hegemony, Imperial Japan gave specific meaning to Korea as an extension of its own economy. The second is based on the United States as an offshore hegemonic power, which chose China as a subordinate partner within East Asia and used the division of labor through sub-horizontal industry based on an initiative to suppress Japan. In order to weaken the economic dominance of Japanese Empire, the United States tried to sever the economic relationship between Korea and Japan.

The third is based on the United States choice of Japan as a subordinate partner within the region as the Cold War spread through East Asia, and as a way to create regional economic integration, using a division of labor through vertical industry. Although the plan was to partially introduce the first form, placing them under the control of Japan within East Asia’s Cold War was a way to secure their own territory. Under this plan and under the control of the United States, Korea’s economic unification with Japan became the target of regulation. In the first form, due to the division of the Cold War in East Asia, the collapse of the utilized industrial linkage structures created the need for a new re-ordering of the regional order, which decisively influenced the regulation of Korea’s position in the East Asian region.

Introduction: The Meaning of the 1940’s to East Asian Regionalism

The end of World War II created a new situation for the East Asian region, namely Korea, Japan, and China. After suffering defeat in the war, Japan lost its hegemony in East Asia. In addition, Japan came under occupation by the United States and was forced to accept a policy of “reformation under occupation,” which was based on demilitarization and democratization. Korea was liberated from the Japanese colonial state but was then separately occupied by the Soviet Union and the United States. Furthermore, after the direct military administration was established, Korean movement to organize an autonomous body was frustrated. For over 15 years, China struggled to win the war against Japan and barely won, however the tinderbox of conflict between the Kuomintang and communists in China never disappeared. After the war, individual states and regions in East Asia were radically reconstructed within their East Asian structures that were formed during ‘the turn of the century’ between the 19th and 20th centuries. It is interesting to note that there had also been discussion on reorganizing the existing local structure in Japan.

Recalling that until World War II, the term “regionalism” did not yet exist in the vocabulary of international relations, Louise Fawcett’s research on regionalism uses periods such as the 1960’s, the early 1970’s, and in the 1980’s.1, However, as research on East Asian regionalism expanded, it became clear that there had been a situation in the 1940’s in which those vocabularies were used. As Lee Jongwon points out, the preceding research on the concept of Asian regionalism has been discussed in terms of two separate regions, the Southeast Asian region connected to Japan, and the Northeast Asian region which included Manchuria and Korea. 2, In regards to research on Korean-Japanese regionalism in East Asia, Herbert P. Bix’s research on the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and Korea through the involvement of the United States’ in the 1960’s, and the Japan-centric regional integration model could be included within Fawcett’s research on defined regionalism.3, Before this period, the researches of Lee Jongwon and Oota Osamu pointed out the existence of a concept of regionalism between Japan and Korea before the Korean War. 4 However, the matter of regionalism needs to be traced even further back. Some crucial issues to consider include which aspects were formed as a result of the Cold War, and which aspects of Northeast Asia’s regional structure had been formed at ‘the turn of the century’ and during the Pacific War.

More specifically, countries such as Korea, Taiwan and Manchuria experienced problems of post-war/post-liberation (re)adjustments. These were directly related to the post-war adjustment plans of America and Japan. As the world’s strongest state and victor of World War II, the United States intended for cooperation between the four powerful police nations, including itself, the United Kingdom, China, and the Soviet Union. Japan’s territory was reduced as it was demoted from an empire to a nation-state, and under these circumstances, Japan had to forge a new survival strategy. These concepts first appeared in the early 1940’s and were based on an awareness of ‘Großraum’ during the war. Continuity which appeared between the realization of the situation during the war and prospects for after the war was significant; in other words, there was an issue of continuity between the recognition of ‘Großraum’ and the plan for reorganization after the war. In this paper I strive to discover the meaning of the 1940’s according to these changes. Furthermore, I examine the method of positioning Korea under the plan that incorporated the United States’ policy towards Great China 5 and its policy of demilitarization and democratization towards Japan, along with how Japan and the United States perceived Korea’s status. In the case of the reconstruction of East Asia’s regional order, it is difficult to say if Korea was considered to be a central unit, but the concept of the various regional-units in East Asia cannot be discussed without Korea. This paper aims to examine the different types of regionalism in East Asia, and Korea’s position in the 1940’s.

Three Types of East Asian Regionalisms in the 1940’s

In the 1940’s, three types of East Asian regionalisms and their different forms based on these concepts of regionalisms continuously appeared.6, Each sought to consider a reorganization process for their type of regionalism. The process of developing regionalism in East Asia in the 1940’s was divided into three different forms. In the beginning of the 1940’s, Japan’s asserted type of regionalism was formed. This type was formed to establish ‘Großraumwirtschaft’ as a bloc economy which included both Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, with Japan as the center. We call this type “The Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere.” Japan tried to justify its domination of East Asia by dividing the world economy into four greater-sphere economies—the United States-centric mega-regional economy, the Russia-centric Soviet mega-regional economy, the German-centric mega-regional economy, and the Japan-centric East Asian mega-regional economy—and insisted upon the mutual coexistence of broad relations. Although the control of trade was affirmed between blocs, it was insisted that within a bloc system free and local trade would arise from within the nations. In 1940, the Japanese Government presented the policy “Outline of the Japanese New Economics System” to establish a self-sufficient co-prosperity that included a ‘Greater East Asia’ based in Japan, Manchuria, and China, along with the autonomy of the first regional national defense economy of the regional resources. In addition, with the cooperation of the state and its citizens, the goal for an overall planned economy was carried out by focusing on main industries. The main purpose of this type was to establish a national defense economy which could contribute to victory during war.7, This kind of ‘Autarkie’ design of a great-sphere national defense economy significantly influenced the design of Nazi Germany’s policy, and was not unique to Japan and Germany. The characteristic of Germany’s greater-sphere idea is understood as a principal of laissez-faire which gave rise to the Great Depression and was superseded by E. H. Carr’s established state-capitalism, Germany and Italy’s fascism, the Soviet Union’s socialism economy, and of course was connected to the United States’ New Deal Policy.8, Through the legal expression of this kind of a bloc economy, Carl Schmitt explains the basic problem of international liability between various nations and states is the refusal of interference by force of external territories since it is a clear trespass of territory and requires interference through warfare to bring about change. This ideology of universalism and confrontation is known to hinder the natural development of people and the sound development of international law in large influential areas.9, Schmitt realized that the characteristic of the great-sphere design found in the U.S. Monroe Doctrine was the refusal of interference from external forces. Included in the concept of wide-area districts is the establishment of boundaries and the division of territories, which establishes a lawful order of principles within a regional unit. Originally, the idea of the non-intrusive region included in the Monroe Doctrine combined with the United States’ imperialist economy was not about expanding into other territories. In contrast, it ignored territories and borders under liberal democratic principles, yet was criticized as trying to spread through the world. Specifically the political and economic mutual respect of Japan, Germany, and Italy conflicted with the view of ‘Lebesrarum’.10, According to Yui Daizaburo, in the beginning of the 1940’s, the dominant form of regionalism was the pre-war “Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere,” and hegemony seized by Imperial Japan was evaluated as an existing “form of distorted regionalism.”11, In other words, Japan took the lead in the development of structural inequality, a characteristic of a division in labor through vertical industry. Even in the postwar period, a shadow was cast because of this grim legacy. Through the so-called “Korea and Japan as one body” policy, Japan (including Colonial Korea), Manchuria, and China functioned as one economic community. Through the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” Japan established national defenses for the Southeast Asia and a provisional existence in high-resource areas of East Asia. Even while acknowledging Japan’s “losses,” it still cannot be denied that serious disturbances were brought about because of Japan, according to John W. Dower, even in the so-called “overseas territories” and regions such as Korea, Taiwan and Manchuria which were included in the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.”12, Until that time, Japanese deviation from domination would have also implied loss in markets and resources which provided essential economic growth to Japan. Korea and China were functioning as Imperial Japan’s economic hinterland. However, this information was being shared with both the United States and Japan. Even before the full-blown development of the Cold War, after Japan lost the war and Korea was liberated there were already a number of opinions in regards to the problem of regionalism in East Asia that were raised after the United States came to Korea. It was only after the Pacific War was carried out that the United States’ plan for East Asian re-organization and the local shape of regionalism came about. The form of a neutralized regionalism of Imperial Japan’s so-called “hegemonic center” appeared after the United States developed the structure of its early Reparation Policy. Thus, through the horizontal division of labor in the form of industry, the equal development of the economy was transformed within East Asia. At the center of pre-war Japan there was also a question of how to rebuild the regional order in East Asia. After Japan’s defeat, the shape of the order in the East Asian region and the type of analysis didn’t simply stop at unearthing transcribers for the Cold War. In the first half of the 20th century, as heaps of historical experience and knowledge were gathered, the form of East Asia’s history was generalized and effort was put into creating a prospect for the reconstruction of a new regional order. Namely, the United States’ process of reforming leading East Asian regions became the new form of regionalism and in fact was not because of Japan, but developed after reconstruction by the United States. The second form was the use of a Chinese-centered regionalism in East Asia by the United States, which was mainly oriented in the Northeast Asian region. On one hand, for victorious countries which included European powers (especially colonies of Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands), the Southeast Asian region became an important area for European revitalization. Afterwards, the world’s great four superpowers divided up territories amongst themselves in which China took charge of the East Asian region. Yet compared to the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, China was relatively vulnerable. Therefore the United States decided to help back and support China. From the beginning, this kind of regional order between territories and free trade within areas existed, and hope was placed on future support of a global free trade system. E. H. Carr believed that no matter how universal it may be, using an international organization in a global sphere as the chosen solution for a reconstructed world order would be inefficient, and a more practical method was through using an intermediary regional unit of democracy. Using this method allowed internationalism to be attained, and as for effectiveness, was asserted as soon possible.13

The second type emerged during the Cold War, which became chaotically complicated as the United States prepared its design for regionalism. In East Asia as the Cold War intensified, the region again was thrown into a whirlpool of rapid change and the second form of regionalism ended up transforming into the third type of regionalism. In continental China, the Communist party triumphed, leaving the Kuomintang Government of Chiang Kai-shek forced to flee to Taiwan. Within East Asia, the United States which had expected Chiang Kaishek’s government to have a certain amount of dominant influence in China, ultimately could do nothing and had to give up the second form of regionalism. The divided North and South Korea which were both incorporated in the camps of the East and West caused East Asia to become a heated battlefield. The United States’ policy of “Demilitarization and Democratization” towards Japan was raised under the banner of “Occupation Reforms” but changed to a “Red Purge” and “Economic Rehabilitation” policy.14, As the United States crossed over the Communist camp in continental China, they witnessed the division of the East Asian region from East to West. With a basis for maintaining free global trade over Northeast Asia under the sphere of influence from the United States, Japan spearheaded the use of Cold War ideology in the East Asian region using the Southeast Asian region as a center. However, this did not result in a return to the first form of regionalism but instead moved into the second form of regionalism because of the United States’ independent view. Further, to secure offshore supremacy under the control of the United States, Japan was placed as a subordinate partner.15, As the second form advanced into the third from, Matsumura Fuminori observed that the United States “thought of the balance of power” and was “an unofficial empire” which possessed an underlying self-image. After, within the structure of the Asian region these two forms came to exist.16 Through the first form which was a “Postwar” initiative known as a “Roosevelt-type Initiative,” the United States, Great Britain, and Soviet Union gave mutual recognition of each other’s sphere of influence, and after becoming superpowers, became global administrators. Afterwards, China became a political and military power which preserved the balanced power within the East Asian region. Matsumura Fuminori resolved that as a postcolonial nation-state in the East Asian region, it could be recognized that the region was similar to a nation-state as it was shaped by various countries. The second form was a “Prewar” type of “defense model design.” Matsumura had predicted that a new war with the communist state would emerge. Recognizing power politics as being paramount between the countries while ensuring the security of national interests of the United States in East Asia, it was analyzed that the ‘itself’ and ‘others’ were separated and the lined regional border was able to be seized as the regressive structure “from Postwar to Prewar.”

Korea’s Place Amongst the Three Types of East Asian Regionalisms

Also crucial to the discussion of regionalism in East Asia is the relationship between Japan and Korea, especially since the industry and agriculture and Japan and Korea were closely interrelated. During the colonial period under the regional order known as ‘the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere’, several issues appeared such as the closely related union of Japan’s economy along with the duty of Korea as a colony. It is necessary to examine the issues that developed before and after Japan’s defeat, such as Korea’s duty within the local economy (the close union between Japan and Korea) and Japan’s industrialization, while also considering the change in their relationship in terms of Korea’s partial industrialization or South Korea as an agricultural country.

Lee Jongwon explains the Three-State Korea-Japan-U.S. system in which he described, “without independent Japan-Korea relations, Japan-U.S. and Korea-U.S. relations were separately formed, and Japan and Korea integrated because of the U.S.,” successfully creating a plan for regionalism in East Asia.17 Before 1947, centralism in the Northeast Asian region excluded Manchuria and the Northern Korea region. As the East Asian Cold War that had once included Manchuria and Northern Korea, it could be seen as a natural occurrence to change into centralism based in the Southeast Asian region. Much previous research has pointed out that in contrast to Manchuria and Northern Korea, Southern Korea, which had been left in the range of the Northeast Asian region as an economic hinterland, lost its functions as a hinterland of Japan as the hinterland was gradually moved to the Southeast Asian region. It could be considered that there was a profound correlation between the concept of a Japan-centralized regionalism and these economic hinterland issues.

Even in Japan, discussions regarding various reconstruction plans were developed in order to prepare against a defeat. In the first type of regionalism, Japan put more concern on economic relations with China and Korea, which were formed during the war, and tried to prepare for possible defeat by recreating the existing colonial structure. In other words, Japan had predicted that control of its political relations were impaired and accepted possible defeat - in short, the decolonization process was anticipated, but Japan was set on maintaining its dominant and superior position that had been formed during the wartime. Despite the fact that the United States’ global free trade policy was predicted to become the standard in the flow of a global economy, Japan tried to make the most it could out of the remaining system of a Japan-centric controlled colonial economy. One problem is that of the Korean realization of continuity which appeared in the form of the reconstruction design for Japan’s economy right after its defeat. Immediately after defeat, Japan concluded that it would be nearly impossible to plan an economic ‘advance’ within Southeast Asia since it was already colonized by Western powers. Also, even if those countries achieved independence or autonomy after the war, their economies would still be under the control of Western powers, especially under Great Britain. Therefore, there existed a need for judgment on the circumstances to find a breakthrough which would reconstruct Japan’s economy from both China, whose government was controlled by Chiang Kai-shek, and liberated Korea. The issue was how to reform old colonial relations which were solely directed by Japan in Northeast Asia before the war, and at the same time maintain the economic relationship which had been floating on the surface. Since Japan tried to find a pathway to economic reconstruction by recycling previous regional orders, research on the old “overseas territories” began. The people who led the research were a concerned group of people from Korea. In lieu of this, it can be seen that until after the war, the Japanese government’s economy reconstruction plan was influenced by Korea.18

Suzuki Takeo,19, who stressed from the pre-war to the post-war period the evaluation and prospect of Korea’s economy immediately after defeat and the formation of a united Japan-Korea economic relationship, proved through his statement that Japan’s prospect was to reconstruct economic relations with a liberated Korea. Suzuki argued that Japan’s prospects on Korea’s economy during the war was based on the “Economic Naisenittairon (Japan and colonial Korea are Economically One)” and is characterized by colonial rule. The wartime economy and the Japan-centric vertical division structure made ‘artificial profitability’ in Autarkie’s theory. However, one negative prospect about the possibility of Korea’s pre-war economic independence, based on Suzuki’s discourse on colonial Korean Economy which was used for ‘economic Naisen-ittai’ after the war, defied the success story of colonial Korea. Moreover, an evaluation stating that the possibility of economic independence would decrease without relations with Japan had influenced the idea that even after the war, Korea would need an economic partnership with Japan.20

Meanwhile, according to the United States’ post-war plan, Korea was supposed to be freed during the trusteeship period. The period leading to the trusteeship was for the preparation of implementation, and had included the second type of regionalism which was required in order to manage the first type of regionalism. That is, this period was during a phase of reconstruction of the second type of regionalism, at which an occupation force of the United States managed the territory. This era which belonged to the occupation period, before the East Asian Cold War became full-blown, showed that the United States controlled, managed, and maintained the Korean peninsula. Even under the strained situation between the United States and the Soviet Union, it had been expected that there would be a cooperative route to an agreement.

In the post-war plan, the United States analyzed the economic meaning of the trusteeship of Korea while creating a plan to regionally unify Asian policy. The United States recognized that the ‘loss’ of colonial Korea’s economy would have a great effect on Japan’s economy and was meant to bring division within the formation process and its transformation. Particularly, apprehension about the probability of Korea’s economic independence was the economic basis of the trusteeship of Korea. The decolonization process that the United States planned was in three stages: from occupation, to trusteeship, to independence. During the occupation period before trusteeship, by reflecting on a reality in which the United States occupied both Japan and Southern Korea, the United States regarded economic integration as possible despite the policy of economic division. Thus, this economic integration existed as a process which would contribute to the administrative convenience of occupation and organization in Korea and Japan.21

The process of regional reconstruction before and after the war was specifically described in the United States’ plan regarding its reparation policy in Japan. One perspective was that the United States’ plan at the beginning was reflected by Pauley Mission’s plan to reconstruct regional order with a punitive character against Japan. The first type of East Asian regionalism which required unity as an economic hinterland functioned as a vertical structure with Japan at its center. The Reparation Policy against Japan focused on demilitarization and democratization, in which the United States attempted to create economic stabilization in the East Asian region by removing the center of East Asia’s regional structure by altering it into a horizontal structure. With this plan there was room for a new type to emerge, a second type of regionalism which was different from the Japan-centric plan before and after the war. However, in the first reparation plan Manchuria and Northern Korea were identified as important countries for the plan’s execution, but with the emergence of the Cold War those states were no longer under control of the United States, threatening the plan of reintegration within the East Asian region.22

An economic integration plan between Korea and Japan during the occupation period was connected to the third type of regionalism, and as an example of the organization’s integrated management, referred to government trade. As a fundamental policy, the United States established a policy to separate Japan and Korea after occupying both regions, but it was not able to wipe out the structure of the bloc economy which had been established until the middle of the war. Especially cutting off the regional economy between the regions risked posing a threat to the reconstruction of Korea’s economy. From this situation, under the GHQ/SCAP’s control, a new form of integrated management called “Government to Government Trade” emerged. Government trade which had been run by General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers changed into an integrated management with companies that provided civilian supplies, aid to Korea, and aid to Japan. 23, According to Paul Hoffman, the director of the Economic Cooperation Agency, the United States’ position on government trade between Japan and Korea was clear. He argued that Korea would be able to benefit from Japan’s economy and both countries shared complementary relations. He also argued that Japan and Korea could supply what the other needed.24, Moreover, he testified that the two countries’ economies had complementary relations in various ways, as historically Korea’s foreign trade was mainly encouraged by Japan’s colonial exploitation policy. He also estimated that Korea’s tendency to depend on Japan was because of China’s corruption and partition, and insisted that trade between Japan and Korea needed to be enforced as best as possible if Korea’s independence and sovereignty were to coexist. Also, the United States needed to support both countries’ complementary trade relations.25

Like this, the correlation between these three types of East Asian regionalism in the 1940’s was established. At the center of the East Asian regional order, the regional order plan of the United States aimed to use a subordinate partner. In addition, as an outsider with hegemonic power aimed at using a subordinate partner within the region, Korea was kept from the center of discussion regarding the regional order plan. However, within the design related to industry, it was decided that Korea’s position would be the economic hinterland, and the relationship between Japan and Korea was regulated.


If we analyze the form of regionalism in the East Asian region, there is an unrealistic viewpoint that states its form is absolutely and indiscriminately centered on Japan. Through examination of the United States’ Reparation Plan against Japan in the beginning and middle of the period of aftermath of World War II and reparation demands of the Pauley Mission, the plan could be identified as having been formed by the intervention of the United States and the removal of Japan. By replacing the vertical structure of the pre-war period with a horizontal one, there was an aspect of the plan which aimed to equally develop East Asia’s regional economy. Therefore, there were a variety of versions of regionalism that existed, even types which included Northern and Southern Korea, Manchuria, and Japan.

The East Asian region changed again after facing not only a new reality with a defeated Japan, but also a new phase of the Cold War. Soon after the war the United States assumed control and the regional economic integration plan was created, based on a vertical industrial division which focused on Japan as a subordinate partner. Thus, in the 1940’s, various movements of regionalism existed sequentially in the East Asia region.

One type of existing discourse such as the ‘economic Naisen-ittairon’ or ‘extension of the mainland,’ declared the Korean economy as being completely incorporated into and dependent upon the Japanese economy. Meanwhile, another discourse stated that as a development factor of Korea’s colonial economy, it was more important that Japan’s economic and wartime requests were used as a development factor of Korea’s colonial economy. In addition, rather than focusing on internal factors for Korea’s economic development, the formation of the Manchurian market as a hinterland for Korea after the Manchurian Incident was seen as more important. These discourses were held by Japan at the time, but they were also shared with the U.S. based on the data provided by Japan, and analysis of Korea’s colonial economy was conducted accordingly. It is hard to believe that after Japan’s defeat and Korea’s liberation this fact was completely denied and eradicated. Therefore, when looking at East Asian regionalism, the distinctiveness of colonial economic management which sought not only economic profitability but also non-economic interests such as political and military advantages still had influence on the reorganization process of regionalism and the relationship between Korea and Japan after the war. This was because even after the United States intervened in the East Asia region, this feature was preserved. However, the interpretation and response from the United States and Japan developed differently according to their own pre-war plans and policies. Between China and Japan, the United States’ decision over which nation should be chosen was made from a political and military perspective as a containment policy to prevent the Soviet Union’s expansion in the East Asia region, rather than on economic advantages. For this purpose, the United States put an emphasis on the mobilization of economic resources and its support of the East Asia region.

Replacing the Kuomintang in China as the center of the East Asian region with Japan brought major changes in the reconstruction of the relationship between Japan and Korea. In the case of reorganizing East Asia through centralizing China, economic division was strictly applied to Korea and Japan because it was impossible to maintain a colonial economic structure with Japan’s economic growth and reconstruction. In contrast, if the reorganization was Japan-centric, Korea’s system would be reformed for its economic revival and growth along with the structure of regionalism in Japan, known as an economic Naisen-ittairon as it was referred to during earlier wars. The economic relationship between Korea and Japan was established and undeniable, and I assume that Japan and the United States shared this information. Recognition was developed based on a political and military relationship—beyond economic profitability—and resulted in a negative evaluation on the probability of Korea’s economic independence. In addition, when discussing the issue of reconstructing the economic relationship between Korea and Japan, there was a difference between the two models: one included Japan and specifically Southern Korea, while the other included the entire Korea region. The latter took into consideration the economic structure of colonial Korea as an artificial allocation with food production and light industry in the Southern Korea region and heavy chemical industry in the Northern Korea region. Furthermore, there was also a question over the availability of smooth management of the heavy chemical industry system after the war, as it was artificially formed during the war to propel the Japanese war efforts, and was beyond profitability. It was clearly recognized that Korea’s economy, based on economic profitability, would need to be readjusted due to the loss of profitability in Korea after the war.



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-362-2008-1-A00001).


Louise Fawcett, “Regionalism in Historical Perspective”, Louse Fawcett and Andrew Hurrell eds., Regionalism in World Politics: Regional Organization and International Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p.12.


These researches that focused on the Southeast Asia were referred to as examples:

John W. Dower, Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1878–1954 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979); Michael Schaller, The American Occupation of Japan: The Origin of the Cold War in Asia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985); William S. Borden, The Pacific Alliance: United States Foreign Economic Policy and Japanese Trade Recovery, 1947–1955 (Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1984).

While these researches for the Northeast Asia:

Bruce Cumings, The Origin of the Korean War, vol. 2: The Roaring of the Cataract, 1947–1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990); Ronald L. McGlothlen, Controlling the Waves: Dean Acheson and U.S. Foreign Policy in Asia (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993).


Herbert P. Bix, “Regional Integration: Japan and South Korea in America’s Asian Policy”, Frank Baldwin ed., Without Parallel: The American-Korean Relationship Since 1945 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1973).


Lee Jong Won, “Sengo Ajia niokeru Beikoku no ‘Chiiki Togo’ koso to Kan Nichi Kankei, 1945–1960”, Joshu ronbun, Faculty of Law, The University of Tokyo, 19911; Oota Osamu, “Daikanminkoku Juritsu to Nihon”, Chosen Gakuho No. 173, 1999.


Related to the Great China plan: Ma Xiaohua, Maboroshi no Shinchitsujo to Ajia Taiheiyo-Daini Sekaitaisenki no Bei Chu Domei no Atsureki (Tokyo: Sairyusha, 2000), pp.155–238.


This purpose of paper is to flexibly interpret the concept of regionalism. This aims understand problems related to the regional industry division to examine nonhegemonic equal development including uneven development which stated “Center’s control on the surroundings= the surroundings subordinate to center.”


Yanagisawa Osamu, Senzen Senji Nihon no Keizai Shiso to Nachizumu, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2008, pp. 162–163.


Jonathan Haslam, translated by Park Won-yong, E. H. Carr Pyeongjeon, (Seoul: Samcheolli, 2012; The Vices of Integrity : E.H. Carr, 1892–1982 (London: Verso, 1999). Quaoted from Korean Ver. p.149; Mika Luoma-Aho, “Geopolitics and grosspolitics: from Carl Schmitt to E. H. Carr and James Burnham,” Louiza Odysseos and Fabio Petito eds, The International Political Thought of Carl Schmitt: Terror, Liberal War and the crisis of Global Order (London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 46–47.


Carl Schimitt(Nagao Ryuichi trans.), “Nihon no Ajia Monroe Shugi”, Carl Schimitt Chosakushu II: 1936–1970 (Tokyo: Shigakusha, 2007), p.121 [Japanese].


ibid., p. 112–115.


Yui Daizaburo, Mikan no Senryo Kaikaku-Amerika Chishikijin to Suterareta Nihon Minshuka Koso (Tokyo, The University of Tokyo Press, 1989), p. 291.


John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the wake of World War II, (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999)[Miura Yoichi Japanese ed., 2nd vol., 2001], p. 139.


Edward H. Carr, Nationalism and After (London: Macmillan, 1945), p.45.


Takemae Eiji recognized the ‘change from pre-communist policy to anticommunist policy or economic self-reliance’ as a reverse course. (Takemae Eiji, “Senryo Kenkyu 40 nen”, Gendai Hogaku No. 8, 2005, pp. 32–33). Researches were referred to study on this changes process.

Howard B. Schonberger, Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945–1952 (Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 1989); ; Igarashi Takeshi, “George Kennan to Tainichi Senryo Seisaku no Tenkan-NSC 13/2”, Ray Moore ed, Tenno ga Baiburu wo yonda Hi (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1982).


A Subordinate partner is not equal to the hegemonic country but it used for defining as the most powerful partner within the region in this paper. On the other hand, this paper analyzes that Lee Jongwon pointed out U.S.’s policy current as it had tried to escape direct involvement toward Asia region, and targeted to establish a balance power system with a ‘Junior Partner’ as a center in the Asia region as his logical conclusion that U.S. limited to their at least involvement, formed and maintained the desirable regional order. It also analyzes that Lee Jongwon aimed to achieve the desired political goal from input of minimum resources by remote-controlling the relationships through a cooperator within the region. (Lee Jongwon, Higashi Ajia Reisen to Kan Bei Nichi Kankei (Tokyo: The University of Tokyo Press, 1996), p. 292


Matsumura Fuminori, “Beikoku no Sengo Ajia Chiiki Chitusujo Koso to Chugoku-’Sengo’ kara ‘Senzen’ e, Waseda Seiji Koho Kenkyu No. 74, 2003, pp. 3–4.


Lee Jong Won 1991; Lee Jong Won 1993; Lee Jong Won 1996.


Song Byong Kwon, “Postwar Economic Reconstruction Plan and the Continuity of Japan’s Perspective on Korea”, The Journal of Asiatic Studies No. 53–3, 2010, pp.209–222. [korean]


Suzuki Takeo is a former professor at Keijo Imperial University and he was seriously involved in Government-General of Chosen in the pre-wartime and so in the process of establishing the government’s policy after the war.


Song Byong Kwon, “Takeo Suzuki’s Perception of Political Economy of Korea in the 1940s”, Korean Cultural Studies No. 37, 2002, pp. 425–429. [korean]


Song Byong Kwon, “Miguk eui Jeonhu Han-il gan Gyeongje Bunri Jeongchaek eui Hyeongseong gwa Byeonyong”, Journal of Korean Modern and Contemporary History No. 53, 2010, pp. 160–171.


Song Byong Kwon, “Migunjeongi Pauley Baesan Sajeoldan eui Baesangan gwa Chosôn eui Jiyeokjueuijeok Jaepyeon Munje”, Sahak Yongu No. 102, 2011, pp. 134–149.


Song Byong Kwon, “Korean-Japanese Coal Trade conducted by U.S. 1945–1950”, The Journal for the Studies of Korean History No. 17, 2004, pp.107–127. [korean]


“(...) Korea can contribute something, at least, to the Japanese economy. In other words, those two economies are naturally complementary. Japan can supply Korea with what I needs and, on the other hand, Korea can supply Japan with they requre.” U.S. Senate, Economic Assistance to China and Korea: 1949–50, Hearings held in Executive Session Before the Committee of Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, 81st Congress, 1st and 2nd Session on S. 1063, S. 2319, S. 2845 (Government Printing Office, 1974), p. 134.


“(...) Korea’s historical foreign trade relationship were to a very large degree molded by the Japanese policy of exploiting Korea as a colonial possession, the economies of the two countries are in many respects complementary. (...) Additional factors contributing to this trend are the present disruption in China and the division of Korea. (...) Our Plans therefore call for the maximum trade insofar as such trade is consistent with Korea’s independence and sovereignty between Korea and Japan. (...) so if we can encourage complementary trade in helps both countries.” U.S. House of Representatives, Korean Aid, Hearings before the Committee of Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, 81st Congress, 1st Session on H.R. 5330 (Government Printing Office, 1949), pp. 17, 22.


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