III-1.”Population Problem and Development Policy in the Philippines: A Research through the Analysis of Newspapers and Public Documents”(H23-24 FY2011-2012)

  • Project Leader : Suzuki Nobutaka (Faculty 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)
  • : Shimizu Hiromu (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)

Outline of Research

One serious problem specialists and scholars in Philippine Studies of Japan can’t overlook is that there existed no English-newspaper available 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 gaps to offer easy access of serial periodicals to prospective library users, as well as to advance further academic research on colonial state building. In particular, this collaborative research aims to purchase English-newspaper, the Tribune (1930–194 1), from the Cornell University, USA, through the analysis of which research members are expected to examine population problem and its impact on Philippine development policies from 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 when the Philippines was an American colony, became so marked mainly due to the introduction of new modern scientific knowledge such as public health that it 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 institution, was most likely. Even before World War II, the imbalance between population and land distribution, causing rural problems and labor disputes, were viewed as a serious political threat which resulted in frequent social instability. On the other hand, after winning its independence from America, population pressure, whose speed was much higher than those of productivity and job availability in the labor market, remained an important domestic issue to be considered in development policy formulation. Focusing on the interplay between population increase and social and economic development of 20th century, this research aims to analyze the overreaching impacts of a gradual but threatening population increase in formulating development policy of the Philippines. It is expected that the English-newspaper the Tribune (1930–1945) that this research will plan to purchase will provide this research project with indispensable information on the Commonwealth period (1935–1946), when Filipino nationalists had prepared to explore new directions in new nation-state building. With the purchase of this English-newspaper the Tribune, which is at present only available in a few university libraries abroad, the Center can be expected to possess a rich widely ranging collection, particularly of serial periodicals such as newspapers and public documents. This will be in addition to both the Foronda and Ocampo collections which have approximately 7,000 books and 1,000 books respectively. Through careful scrutiny of these research materials, newly-purchased and pre-existing, it is expected that this research will consider the historical process of Philippine development in a new perspective emphasizing the agency of Filipino elite politicians in political decision-making.

The Tribune and the Philippines Herald, two major English daily newspapers published during 1930s in the Philippines

The Tribune, one of the major English daily newspapers published in the Philippines