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Title: Thailand during World War II : impact and aftermath
Author: Anamwathana, Panarat
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 6402
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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Japan coordinated its invasion of Thailand to coincide with the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour. Small and with little choice, Thailand quickly joined the Axis. Despite this capitulation, Japanese occupation brought substantial economic loss and widespread social disruption. GDP contracted by a fifth. Japanese finance required that Thailand pay the costs of occupation and ship goods, mostly rice, to Japan while receiving little in return. Resulting shortages of consumer goods, swift money supply expansion and high inflation cut living standards, necessitated rationing and led to social unrest. One main aim of my dissertation is to analyse the costs to Thailand of Japanese occupation. The dissertation’s other main objective is to examine the longer-term impact of occupation. Alone in Southeast Asia, post-World War II Thailand avoided revolution or civil war. The advantages of administrative continuity through occupation, buoyant rice exports and a non-strategic geographical location largely explain post-war stability. Furthermore, the wartime alliance with Japan avoided Thailand’s population being taken as comfort women or as forced labour on the Thailand-Burma railway. Wartime macro-economic shocks helped to shape Thailand’s post-1945 economic development. Efforts towards industrialisation and import substitution were a response to wartime setbacks: the government directed resources towards producing goods which were scarce during the occupation. In reaction to wartime fiscal dislocation, the state strengthened its control of financial institutions, budgets, and currency. Exploring the connection between Thai experiences under the Japanese and during the early 1950s is crucial to fully understanding the legacies of the war.
Supervisor: Huff, Gregg Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Economic history