Research Projects

The task of the Research Institute is to elucidate the essential structure of disarmament and arms control in the modern and contemporary world through comprehensive historical research. This also suits the University’s guiding principle of “Aiming at creating a peaceful, affluent society.” The Research Institute is currently pursuing the research subjects described above by organizing the four projects listed below.

Since its establishment in 2015, the Research Institute has conducted international joint research for three interrelated themes (projects) over three years. Specifically, Theme 1 was “Elucidating the structure of chains of arms transfer and technology transfer.” Theme 2 was “Elucidating the structure of failure of disarmament and arms control.” Theme 3 was “An international comparison of models of industry-military research complex and industrialization with disproportionate emphasis on military affairs.” Today, based on the past results, the Research Institute is working on interdisciplinary and international joint research focusing on the following four new projects:

Project 1: Empirical research on the transfer of imperial governance systems

This project aims at clarifying how the imperial control systems brought into Asia and Africa in the era of imperialism since the end of the 19th century - which covered a wide range of areas such as politics, economy, culture, and military affairs - spread to the world in subsequent years. In the previous Theme 1, researchers advanced research by viewing arms transfer, which had been considered as a closed event only between two countries (sender and receiver), as a chain of events (in other words, a continuous process in which a receiver soon became a sender, prompting diversion and proliferation). Project 1 develops such a perspective in a multi-faceted way, pursuing the subject carried forward in A World History of Expansion of Armaments and Arms Transfer: Why Did Weapons Spread Easily?, edited by Katsuhiko Yokoi and Tomoji Onozuka and published by Nihon Keizai Hyouronsha in 2012, which was a result of the previous joint research.

Project 2: Elucidating the international chain of arms transfer and technology transfer in military/civil aviation

Aircraft, which can be used for both military and general purposes, are not easily subjected to arms control, and all disarmament efforts in the area of aircraft have failed. As a result, in this field, such failure has triggered a chain of arms transfer and technology transfer in wide areas of the world. This research group, which pays attention to the aircraft (armament) and aviation industries in various countries of the world, will pursue the significance of a chain of transfers of technology that could be used for both military and general purposes to Asia and South America between the two world wars as well as of the expansion of popular aviation culture. The task of Project 2 is to further develop The Evolution of the Aircraft Industry and Air Power in the World (The Research Institute’s series Book 1), edited by Yokoi and published by Nihon Keizai Hyouronsha in 2016, which was the past fruit of Theme 1 and Theme 2.

Project 3: Comparative study of military indigenization in developing countries and economic and military assistance

This project expands the period of arms transfer it addresses to cover the period between the two world wars and the Cold War era and the scope of countries it analyzes to include Asian countries (India, Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan). It aims at developing international joint research into new dimensions by adding three new perspectives: military assistance, military-industry-research complex, and self-sufficiency of arms in developing countries. How did the economic and military assistance provided by the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War era affect arms transfer to developing countries, their shift to military indigenization and self-sufficiency of arms, and the formation of military-industry-research complex in these countries? The task of Project 3, based on Theme 3, is to take over and develop the research subjects addressed in International Development Aid during the Cold War Transformation Period and Asia: Mainly on the 1960s, edited by Shoichi Watanabe (Tohoku Gakuin University), a researcher at the Research Institute, and published by Minerva Shobo in 2017.

Project 4: Comprehensive study on the modern and contemporary disarmament and arms control initiatives and their results

As the structure of the modern and contemporary world underwent transformation, the meaning of the terms “disarmament” and “arms control,” the objectives and nature of disarmament and arms control measures, and the conceptual frameworks that underlie such measures have changed rapidly. Through interdisciplinary and international joint research by historians, jurists, and international political scientists in Japan and abroad, Project 4 will comprehensively analyze the conceptual frameworks that underlay disarmament and arms control measures in each period of the modern times and thereafter and clarify the consequences of these measures. The task of this project has its basis in Disarmament and Arms Control in International Political History: From the 19th Century to the Present (The Research Institute’s series Books 2), edited by Tamara Enomoto and published by Nihon Keizai Hyouronsha in 2017, which is the result of Theme 2.