Katsuhiko Yokoi (ed.),
Indigenous Armaments Production and International Assistance in Cold War Asia
(Tokyo, Nihon Keizai Hyoron Sha, 2021)

The main purpose of this book is to clarify the history of the armament industry formed in Asian countries during the Cold War. In the 1960s and 1970s, the US and the Soviet Union deployed military aid and strategic arms transfers on a global scale, and Asian countries, especially India, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, pursued military independence in the same era. Focusing on the relationship between those developments, this book attempts to elucidate the structure of arms diffusion and the expansion of its production bases in Asia during the Cold War.

1. Japan-UK comparison of total war and non-military industries mobilisation and transformation of munitions production
Shinichi Shirato

This chapter focuses on how non-military industries are mobilised and transformed during total war, and how they return to civilian production after the war ends. In order to construct a total war system, it is necessary to increase the productivity of the arms industries and the heavy and chemical industries. In this respect, the situation differs greatly between countries that have essentially achieved domestic self-sufficiency in heavy industry, both in terms of technology and supply, and those that must rely on imports from other countries. This is illustrated through a comparison between the UK and Japan. In order to compare the total war systems of both countries, I first examined the development of the UK’s military industry during World War I and its post-war transformation in Lincoln, where the first tank development company was located. Next, I examined the mobilisation process involved in transforming non-military textile manufacturers into military producers during World War II, when Japan’s industrial structure, centred on the textile industry, was transformed into a total war system.
 As a result, I found that in Lincoln, where agricultural machinery production had been flourishing, non-military agricultural machinery manufacturers were engaged in tank development and the production of combat aircraft during World War I. However, after the war ended, general companies were not allowed to continue arms production, and the return to civilian production encountered many difficulties. Next, I examined the transformation of the textile industry, a typical example of a non-military industry in Japan during the Asia-Pacific War. Japan tried to secure military power and the production of munitions, but this became impossible due to the loss of strategic supplies and production facilities following a massive loss of ships and the damage caused by air raids. On the other hand, the textile industry was drastically downsized, scrapped and mobilised for the military industry. In this analysis of the textile industry, I also examined how military production brought about a transformation in the textile industry’s production areas, targeting the Okaya and Suwa areas where “company readjustment plans” and factory evacuations were underway. After the war, the new precision machinery industry was developed in those areas.

2. A preliminary examination of the dissemination and expansion of optical and precision technology: Focusing on Nippon Kogaku’s evacuation to Shiojiri and Hachiyo Optical Co.’s camera production
Yuji Yamashita

This chapter examines the activities of Nippon Kogaku, which evacuated to Shiojiri in Nagano Prefecture during World War II, and the camera manufacturing activities of Hachiyo Optical Co., which took over Nippon Kogaku’s factory. Nippon Kogaku purchased the Chushin-Sha silk mill and used the building as an evacuated factory that employed Nippon Kogaku employees, former silk mill employees and mobilised students. The Shiojiri factory was the only one of Nippon Kogaku’s evacuated factories that continued production after the war; however, microscope manufacturing was difficult with only locally recruited workers available. Productivity increased after Nippon Kogaku engineers instructed workers on how to maintain the precision of parts and on scientific, rational production methods that involved utilising gauges and jigs. Accordingly, it is thought that the basic technical skills associated with metal working, modification and assembly came to be established. Workers at the Shiojiri factory have been praised as being independent, but this cannot be verified unless concrete case examples can be found. The Shiojiri factory was closed down due to unprofitable business operations at Nippon Kogaku headquarters, and the newly established Hachiyo Optical Co. took over the factory’s facilities. The company had just entered the camera manufacturing business, but sales growth was poor, causing labour-management relations to deteriorate. With regard to twin-lens reflex cameras (TLR cameras), Yashica and Ricoh had low-priced and middle-spec products, and Canon had lens-shutter cameras (35 mm); therefore, without constructing a mass-production system capable of outputting products that were both low-cost and multifunctional, it was impossible for Hachiyo Optical Co. to survive in the camera sector. It is not known who recommended to the company that it go into camera manufacturing, but there should have been people within the company with the technology and skills required. Thus, Hachiyo Optical Co. withdrew from camera manufacturing due to unprofitable business operations, and the factory closed down. Subsequently, another company took over operations at the factory, which became a successful exposure meter and electrical appliance assembly plant. From the standpoint of factory scale and costs, the Shiojiri factory was not suited to camera manufacturing. Accordingly, it can be concluded that the efforts of Nippon Kogaku and Hachiyo Optical Co. over a ten-year period did nothing more than to create a high-quality, easy-to-use assembly plant and labour force.

3. International networks and aircraft manufacture in colonial and postcolonial India: States, entrepreneurs and educational institutions, 1940–64
Aparajith Ramnath

This paper examines the beginnings of aircraft manufacture and maintenance in India by exploring the early history of Hindustan Aircraft Limited (HAL) – India’s premier producer of military aircraft – from its establishment (1940) to the inauguration of its best-known locally designed aircraft (1964). Scholars have seen HAL’s beginnings primarily as an instance of colonial imperatives subjugating indigenous enterprise (the company was promoted by the industrialist Walchand Hirachand and later taken over by the colonial government). However, this paper emphasises the multiplicity of actors and the broader, often extra-imperial, networks that played a role in HAL’s development. The plant in Bangalore was commissioned by a team of American engineers under W.D. Pawley, who would arrange for manufacturing licences, machinery and materials through his American company, the Intercontinent Corporation. These American experts supervised a team of Indian engineers and technicians, and the factory was run by the US Army during the latter years of World War II. Other crucial actors were the princely government of Mysore, which provided land and concessions for the factory; German and Germany-trained experts who worked in HAL’s design teams in the post-independence period; and the Indian Institute of Science, which provided HAL with trained personnel and research facilities.

4. US foreign military aid after World War II: The military-industrial complex and the Common Defense Market scheme
Isao Suto

This chapter traces the shift in US military aid from grants to military sales after World War II and the formation of the Common Defense Market scheme by the military-industrial complex. Post-war military aid began with the disposition of surplus weapons and the liquidation and continuation of the Lend-Lease program, with the enactment of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act and the Korean War leading to an increase in the amount of aid given. Subsequently, the introduction and expansion of the external procurement of defense equipment and military sales proceeded in response to Congress’s criticism of foreign aid. However, against the background of the missile gap controversy, the “Diplomatic Pearl Harbor” incident in Latin America and the worsening balance of payments, the Draper Commission recommended the importance of military and economic development assistance, a policy that was carried over to the Kennedy administration. In the early 1960s, the International Logistics Negotiation Office of the Department of Defense provided support for arms exports, and the Export-Import Bank’s arms export financing, known as “X-country loans”, led to the proposal of the Common Defense Market scheme by the military-industrial complex.

5. US technical assistance and the Indian steel industry: Focus on the activities of the Ford Foundation
Hideyuki Shimotomai

In this chapter, we analyse how the Ford Foundation, which financially supported the US technical assistance policy in the 1950s and 1960s, developed Indian steel engineers’ skills. There has been technical assistance and the technology transfer of engineers from the US to India since the end of the nineteenth century. When the Cold War began, as a counter to the massive technical assistance offered by the Soviet Union, the US focused on technical assistance through the dispatch of experts and technicians, as well as capital assistance. India pursued a process of heavy and chemical industrialisation based on the premise of technological assistance from Western countries to achieve economic independence. As the centrepiece of the second Five-Year Plan, the iron and steel industry, which was a strategic core industry for industrialisation, received active technical assistance from Europe and the US. In this chapter, we clarify the process of training Indian engineers through dispatch and training at major steel companies in the US with the support of the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation had allocated much of its overseas development program to India, with plans to send young engineers to the US for training. This was an attractive proposal for the Indian government, given its endeavours to increase steel production, and it was realised through cooperation between the US and India. The role of the Ford Foundation was not only to provide funding but also to coordinate the work with the Indian government and other collaborating universities and companies. The trainees gained practical experience through a training plan realised through industry–government–academia collaboration. A revision of the immigration law after World War II, which prioritised high-skilled immigrants, led to an increase in the number of Indian immigrants. Technical transfers by the US were significant in increasing the number of engineers and professionals from India. The outcome of the Ford Foundation’s training of engineers was subsequently returned to the US in the form of the acceptance of high-level engineers from India. It can be said that the technical assistance offered to India during the Cold War was one of the origins of today’s highly-skilled Indian engineer workforce in the US.

6. The Anglo-American negotiation of the military aid to South Asia: The MiG-21 deal
Shoichi Watanabe

Research to date has usually accepted the notion that the Cold War emerged no more conspicuously in South Asia than in Europe or East Asia until the early 1960s. This seems to be the case because of the situation where the US and the Soviet Union could not easily intervene in South Asia due to Nehru’s policy of non-alignment. However, the countries in South Asia were not independent, and greatly depended on economic and military aid from the UK and the US; they even asked the Soviet Union for its cooperation. When the US determined to supply the supersonic jet fighter F-104 to Pakistan in 1959, Nehru recognised it as the collapse of the military balance in South Asia and asked for military aid from overseas countries, while strengthening domestic military production. Thus, the arms race between Pakistan and India began to expand, while the non-aligned diplomacy in South Asia was deployed. In the meantime, the UK and the US had recognised that it was of the greatest importance to prevent the intervention of the Soviet Union, and began to consider providing active military aid. Knowing that India had a willingness to introduce a new supersonic jet fighter, the MiG-21, from the Soviet Union, both the UK and the US entered into negotiations with India to prevent this. The UK expected the support of India as a member of the Commonwealth, but she could not give more aid to India than was asked, and had to ask for US support. This produced a multipolarisation of military aid. India was greatly dependent on foreign aid available following the implementation of the third Five-Year Plan, while it could not escape from the balance-of-payments crisis in the late 1950s and early 1960s; it then asked for international aid from the All India Consortium. As India was greatly dependent upon the US for economic aid, she also had the possibility of receiving its military aid. However, the US could not provide military aid directly due to India’s non-alignment policy, meaning it had to detour the assistance through financial support to the UK. The MiG-21 deal brought about the framework of the Anglo-American collaboration, in direct confrontation with the Soviet Union’s military intervention in India. The Anglo-American cooperation to ensure a sustained military balance in South Asia on the condition of Indo-Pakistan-related stability and India’s policy of non-alignment was the absolute condition required to prevent the intervention of the Soviet Union. However, the Anglo-American collaboration based on US financial backing was not able to prevent the MiG-21 deal.

7. Military independence and brain drain in India during the Cold War
Katsuhiko Yokoi

This chapter critically examines the extent to which military independence was achieved in India in the 1960s. In recent years, India’s military modernisation has been actively discussed in the fields of economic history and the history of international relations. With reference to such discussions, this chapter has paid particular attention to the following three points: (1) It is important to make clear the meanings of the following three concepts – indigenous armaments production, self-sufficiency in defence equipment and self-reliance in defence requirements. Few studies on India’s military independence emphasise the differences between them in their analysis of the armament industry, including the aircraft industry. (2) India’s industrialisation after independence relied heavily on international aid. While the US was consistently the largest donor of economic assistance, the largest donor of arms transfers to India gradually moved from the UK to the Soviet Union. This chapter details the process. (3) International aid to India consisted of economic aid and military aid, and although it is difficult to distinguish between them, economic aid could be classified into the categories of capital aid and technical aid. Based on this technical aid, the Indian Institutes of Technology, which were in charge of advanced science and technology education and military technology development, were established in various locations in India in the 1950s and 1960s, but the brain drain of their graduates to the US began to occur as early as the mid-1960s. This chapter analyses the causes of this outflow.

8. Taiwan’s security policy since the Cold War era: A review of external military assistance and the development of indigenous defence industry
Fu-Kuo Liu

Throughout the Cold War era, the ROC’s national security was threatened by the PRC’s enmity. Even today, the ROC’s national security strategy focuses overwhelmingly on addressing military threats from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Although the US has, over the years, granted hardware and software to Taiwan to strengthen its defence capabilities, Taiwan has remained far from independent in defence modernisation and national security. For Taiwan, a hard lesson learned from changes in US policy in Asia and other bilateral relations was that the US will only invest in countries that will bear fruit for it. Post-World War II economic development in Taiwan has been closely linked to political attempts to develop a strong indigenous defence industry, with the aim of ensuring Taiwan will be able to avoid the potential risks associated with changes in US policy. The development of an indigenous defence industry thus became critical, and would go on to gain prevailing support in domestic politics. Taiwan’s development of an indigenous defence industry started with three public institutions/organisations and gradually networked more than 200 indigenous SMEs. Over the decades, the country has built a very useful and promising defence industrial chain, reflecting more generally the benefits of economic development for Taiwan.

9. Distinctions of the ROK national security policy and the pursuit of military independence during the Cold War
Kyengho Son

The national security policy of South Korea has been distinctly shaped by its historical experience during the Korean War. Facing a sudden invasion from North Korea, South Korea did not have any other option but to rely on the support of the US to conduct the war. The US began to strengthen the South Korean armed forces, based on its national security policy, as the armistice negotiations progressed towards the end of the war. Because South Korea lacked modern military technology and funds, the US planned a preponderant ground force, with a small navy and air force that could be supported by US capabilities. The concentration on ground forces called for self-reliance on the part of South Korea. Meanwhile, the South Koreans succeeded in concluding a ROK-US alliance to secure US commitment to defending South Korea. Self-help efforts and the alliance with the US became two distinctive features of South Korean defence policy in the Cold War era. However, the US reduced its commitment to South Korean defence during the period of détente, although South Korea devoted its national resources to the Vietnam War. South Korean elites opened a new dimension to national self-defence efforts by producing basic weapons and developing independent military strategies. As a result, South Koreans were able to arm themselves with their own weapons. Later, with the increase of tension with the Soviet Union, the US changed its policy towards South Korea and re-instituted its commitment to defend the country. In this context, South Korea continued its self-defence efforts and tried to maintain the commitment of the US while gradually reducing its dependence on US capabilities for its defence.

10. Japan’s defence industry and weapons transfer during the Cold War: In the gap between independence and alliance
Atsushi Koketsu

This chapter focuses on the divergence of Japanese and US perceptions concerning the Mutual Security Act (MSA Agreement) of 1954. It discusses in detail the development of two mutually incompatible arguments in Cold War Japan – “Independence” (neutrality separate from the US) and “Alliance” (pro-US dependence). It concretely demonstrates how, in the tense relationship between Japan, which was expecting special economic demands under the MSA Agreement, and the US, which, after the Korean War, demanded the rearmament of Japan and the strengthening of its self-defence capabilities in connection with its military strategy against the Soviet Union and China, Japan’s defence industry was pressed to respond and searched for ways to achieve those goals. From there, it concludes that, despite being regulated by US military assistance, military independence in Cold War Japan was “Independence”, with a view to achieving complementary development by finding a balance between private sector and military-related economic demand. The next task, based on the diversification of US military assistance, is to approach the reality of military assistance to Japan in the context of the US’s overall military strategy by analysing the factual details of the military assistance provided to Japan. This is because the actual state of Japan’s military independence is still determined by the content of the US’s global military strategy. At the same time, under the alliance based on the Japan-US security treaty system, this can also be said to have been included among the range of issues facing Japan today.