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Title:British Commercial Policies against Japanese Expansionism in East and West Africa, 1932-1935
Author:Ampiah, KwekuISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic terms:English-speaking Africa
Great Britain
Subjects:trade policy
mercantile history
international trade
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
Abstract:Using East and West Africa as a case study, this paper examines the trade conflict between Britain and Japan over East and West African cotton goods markets, from 1932 to 1935. Specifically, it examines the extent to which Japan's cotton piece exports to the colonies were a threat to British commercial interests, and explores the nature of the threat, as perceived by the British government. The paper also evaluates the effectiveness of the duties and quotas that the government implemented against imports of Japanese goods into the colonies. The specific territories examined are Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika and Zanzibar (Tanzania), Nyasaland (Malawi), Nigeria, the Gold Coast (Ghana), Sierra Leone and The Gambia. The paper concludes that, contrary to Foreign Office claims that the government's tough stand against Japan was prompted by commercial interests alone, policies adopted to control imports of Japanese goods into the colonies during this period were part of a grandiose political strategy to contain Japan's imperialist efforts. The paper suggests that in East Africa attempts to control Japanese imports failed as a result of legal technicalities; in West Africa Britain gained very little from the vacuum that Japan left in the region. Notes, ref.