New Zealand and Japan : trade relations, 1928-1958
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis examines trade between New Zealand and Japan in the period 1928-1958. These are the years in which New Zealand and Japan signed commercial treaties establishing Most Friendly Nation relations. The study is both of the nature of the trade itself, i.e. the commodities and the infrastructure of trade, and of the effect of trade on political relations and issues. Study of the infrastructure deals with Trade commissioners, shipping, private trading organisations, and the activities of small businesses.
The aim of the thesis is to analyse why New Zealand and Sapan did not develop an extensive trading relationship in this period given their complementary economic activity. Very little has been written of this topic and thus much of the thesis, especially dealing with official (and at the time confidential) policy on trade with Japan covers areas dealing with New Zealand history that have not previously been researched. Other areas in which this thesis has attempted to 'cover new ground' are shipping and private business activities between New Zealand and Japan.
The primary method of investigation has been by research on archival material of the Department of Industries and Commerce. Unpublished histories of shipping were also made available to me, and interviews were conducted with businessmen who were involved with importing/exporting to Japan in the post-war period. oral history has thus been used to supplement research on archival material.
The thesis, as summarized at the end, details the major impediments that prevented the development of an extensive trading relationship and the importance of New Zealand's commercial relationship with Britain as a determining factor on relations with Japan.