Japanese multinationals in Southeast Asia: A case study of Indonesia.

  • Teresa I. J. Morris-Suzuki

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The objects of this thesis are to examine the role of Japanese companies in Indonesia from the beginning of the century to the present day; to consider the effects of Japanese companies on political relations between Japan and Indonesia; and to relate these effects to general theories about the impact of the multinational corporation on international relations. The thesis is structured round a number of variables which, it is suggested, determine the effect of multinational investments on relations between two nations. These variables are: the relative degrees of development of the two countries, the nature of economic relations between them, the nature of the investing companies' interaction with home and host country political elites, and the international political environment. This study shows that the development of Japanese companies' interests in Indonesia has been a slow and interrupted process going back to the first decades of the century. Since the mid-1960s, however, Japanese investment in Indonesia has not only increased greatly in volume but undergone a qualitative change which may be seen as the maturing of a specifically Japanese form of multinational strategy. As far as political relations are concerned, this examination of the case of Japan and Indonesia would seem to contradict theories that the multinational company weakens or supercedes the power of the nation state. Instead, it is possible to trace a changing and developing relationship between Japanese multinational companies and governments both in Japan and in the host country, Indonesia. At the same time, the example of Japanese-Indonesian relations clearly shows that the political impact of multinational companies is strongly influenced by the wider international environment, in this case particularly by relations between Japan and other industrialised countries.
Date of Award1980
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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