III-1. “Population Problem and Development Policy in the Philippines: A Research through the Analysis of Newspapers and Public Documents”(H23 FY2011)

  • Project Leader : Suzuki Nobutaka (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba)
  • Collaborators : Ohta Kazuhiro (Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University)
  • : Nagasaka Itaru (Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University)
  • : Kitamura Yumi (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)

Outline of Research

One serious problem specialists in and scholars of Philippine Studies in Japan cannot overlook is the absence in Japanese collections of English newspapers in Japan from 1930 to 1945 , when the Philippines was an American colony. The Center for Southeast Asian Studies is expected to play a vital role in filling the gaps by offering easy access to serial periodicals to prospective library users, in order to advance further academic research on colonial state building. In particular, this collaborative research aims to purchase the English newspaper the Tribune for the period from 1930 to 1945 from Cornell University, United States, through the analysis of which research members are expected to examine the population problem and its impact on Philippine development policies in the American colonial and post-independent periods.


The purpose of this research project is to examine population pressure and its impact on the policy formulation on Philippine national development. A gradual increase in population immediately after the American colonization of the Philippines became so marked mainly due to the introduction of new modern scientific knowledge such as public health. The population increase led to drastic social changes. For the majority of Filipinos, who are dominantly Catholic, strong opposition to population control from various social forces, particularly religious institutions, was most likely. Even before World War II, the imbalance between population and land distribution, which caused agrarian problems and labor disputes, was viewed as a serious political threat that resulted in frequent social instability.

On the other hand, after the Philippines won its independence from the United States, the growth of the population, which occurred much more quickly than the growth of productivity and job availability in the labor market, has remained the most important domestic issue to be considered in development policy formulation. Focusing on the interplay between population increase and socio-economic development of the 20th century, this research aims to analyze the impacts of a gradual but threatening population increase in formulating development policy of the Philippines. It is expected that the English newspaper the Tribune (1930-45) will provide indispensable information for this research project with regard to the Commonwealth period (1935-46), when Filipino nationalists prepared to explore new directions in building a new nation-state. With the purchase of the English newspaper the Tribune (1930-45), which is at present only available in a few university libraries abroad, the Center expects to possess a rich collection of a wide range of documents, particularly serial periodicals such as newspapers and public documents, in addition to both the Foronda and Ocampo collections, each of which has approximately 7,000 books and 1,000 books respectively. It is hoped that the researchers will, through careful scrutiny of the research materials of the Center, consider the historical process of Philippine development from a new perspective emphasizing the active involvement of Filipino elite politicians in political decision-making.

The Tribune, an English-newspaper published from 1930 until 1945 that this research project will plan to purchase from Cornell University