Dr Kweku Ampiah

Associate Professor of Japanese Studies

Summary: I am a political economist with expertise in Japanese diplomacy and foreign policy. My research interests include Japanese diplomacy in the 1950s, and Japan’s relations with Africa.


I am a political economist with expertise in Japanese diplomacy and foreign policy. My research interests include Japanese diplomacy in the 1950s, and Japan’s relations with Africa. I have become increasingly interested in the Japanese approach to International Development, and the extent to which Japan may be contributing to Africa’s development initiatives through the TICAD process (see my article in Japanese Studies, September 2012).

Recent Activities

  • Invited Speaker, ‘Datsu-A ron: Africa and Japan in the network of Modern History and Contemporary International Politics’, Asia-Africa Entanglements Conference, Doshisha University, Kyoto, 26-27 July, 2014.

  • Invited Speaker, ‘The Discourse of Ownership in Japanese Economic Assistance to Africa’, Seminar at Doshisha Universty, Kyoto, 26 May 2014.

  • Invited Speaker, ‘Imaging Africa at the Tokyo Olympics of 1964’, Historicizing Japan Africa Relations panel, Japan Association for African Studies Conference, University of Kyoto, 24-25 May, 2014.

  • Invited speaker,  ‘TICAD and Japan-Africa’, Kansai University,  Japan, 22 May, 2014.

  • Keynote Speaker, ‘Historicizing Japan-Africa Relations’, Asia-Africa Entanglements, Stellenbosch University, South Africa 16-17 November, 2013.

  • Guest speaker on ASIAN VOICE, ‘Africa and Asia: A New Era’, NHK World, 23 May, 2013. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/asianvoices/archives201305242000.html

  • Organiser and Presenter, ‘Accelerating the TICAD Initiative: A Policy Advisory Group Seminar Towards TICAD V’ (Presentation, TICAD and the Reimaging of Africa), London, 18-19 January, 2013.

  • Consultancy, ‘Understanding JICA’s ‘School for All’ Project in Niger: Inducing Local Ownership into Primary Education?’, January 2013 - January 2014.

  • Presenter, ‘School for All Project in Niger’, Institute of Education, University of London, London, 24 May,2012. http://www.jica.go.jp/uk/english/office/others/pdf/newsletter_04-05_FY2012.pdf

  • Observer, The Fourth TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting, Marrakesh, Morocco, 5-6 May, 2012.http://www.jica.go.jp/uk/english/office/others/pdf/newsletter_04-05_FY2012.pdf

  • Presenter, ‘The Ownership Content of Japanese Economic Assistance to Africa: JICA and the Development of Rice Farming in Tanzania’ (with Mr Motonori Tomitaka, JICA Tanzania Expert), Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies Seminar, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, 17 June, 2012.

  • Presenter, ‘Non-aligned Movement and its References to the Bandung Conference (The Cold War and the Postcolonial Moment: Prehistory, Aims and Achievements of the Non-Aligned Movement, 50 years after Belgrade, The University of Belgrade, Department of Eastern European History, Zurich), 3 June-4 June, 2011.

  • Speaker, ‘Japan and the Commonwealth', Daiwa Foundation, Japan House, 4 November, 2010.

  • Presenter, ‘The Ownership Issue in Japanese Economic Assistance to Africa,’ (Seminar on Japan: increasing its global role?) Wilton Park, England, 2-4 November, 2010.

  • Presenter, ‘Local Ownership of Development in Japanese Aid to Africa’  (Seminar on the TICAD Initiative: What is new in Japanese Economic Assistance to Africa), Birkbeck College, 12 October, 2010.


2007, Kweku Ampiah, The Political and Moral Imperatives of the Bandung Conference of 1955: The Reactions of US, UK and Japan,  London: Global Oriental.

1997, Kweku Ampiah, The Dynamics of Japan’s Relations with Africa: South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria, London: Routledge.

Edited Volumes

2012, Kweku Ampiah ed., The Evolving Relations between Japan and Africa: The Discourse of the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development, (Special Issue), Japanese Studies, vol., 32, Issue 2.

2010, Kweku Ampiah ed. Japan and the Commonwealth of Nations: Present and Future Prospects (Special Issue), The Round Table, vol. 99, Issue 409.

2008, Kweku Ampiah and Sanusha Naidu, eds., Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?: China and Africa, Scottsville : University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.

Peer Reviewed Articles

2014, Kweku Ampiah, 'Who's Afraid of Confucius? East Asian Values and the Africans' African and Asian Studies, vol.13 pp.385-404

2012, Kweku Ampiah, ‘The Discourse of Local Ownership in Development: Rhapsodies about ‘Self-help’ in Japan’s Economic Assistance to Africa’, Japanese Studies, vol. 32, Issue 2. pp. 161-182.

2011, Kweku Ampiah, ‘Anglo-Japanese Collaboration about Africa in the Early 1960s: The Search for ‘Complementarity’ in the Middle of Decolonization’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History,  vol. 39, no. 2, June.  pp. 269-295.

2010, Kweku Ampiah, ‘Japan and Commonwealth Africa’, The Round Table, vol. 99, issue 409, August, pp. 413-428.

2005, Kweku Ampiah, ‘Nigeria’s Fledgling Friendship with Japan: The Beginning of a ‘Special Partnership’? African and Asian Studies, vol.4, no.4 pp. 547-573.

2005, Kweku Ampiah, “Japan and the Development of Africa: The Tokyo International Conference on African Development”, African Affairs, January, 104(414) 97-115.

2004, Kweku Ampiah, ‘L’Afrique du Sud dan la TICAD: un rôle pivot’, Afrique Contemporaine, No. 212, April, pp.  91-112.

1996, Kweku Ampiah ‘Japanese Aid to Tanzania: A Study of the Political Marketing of Japan in Africa’, African Affairs, vol.95, no.378. pp.107-124

1990, Kweku Ampiah, ‘British Commercial Policies against Japanese Expansionism in East and West Africa: 1932-1935’, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, vol. 23, no.4. pp. 619-641.

Book Chapters

2008, Kweku Ampiah, ‘Japan at the Bandung Conference: An attempt to assert an independent foreign policy’, in Iokibe Makoto, Caroline Rose, Tomaru Junko and John Weste, eds., Japanese Diplomacy in the 1950s: From isolation to integration, London: Routledge. pp. 79-97.

2008, Kweku Ampiah, ‘The Ideological, Political and Economic Imperatives in China and Japan’s Relations with Africa’, in Kweku Ampiah and S. Naidu eds., Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?: Africa and China, Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.  pp. 294-313.

2006, Kweku Ampiah, ‘Nigeria’s Fledgling Friendship with Japan: The Beginning of a ‘Special Partnership?’ in Seifudein Adem ed., Japan, a Model and a Partner: Views and Issues in African Development, Leiden: Brill. pp. 105-131.

2003, Kweku Ampiah, “Japanese Investments in South Africa, 1992-1996: The State, Private Enterprise and Strategic Minerals”, in Chris Alden and Katsumi Hirano, Japan and South Africa in a Globalising World: A Distant Mirror, London: Ashgate, pp. 45-58. 



EAST 1265, Japan: History and International Politics

EAST 2224, Japanese for Research

EAST 3252, Modern Japanese History

EAST 3267, Advanced Japanese in Context 5: Japanese Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in Historical Context


EAST 5026 M, Japan: Politics and International Relations

EAST 5507 M, Japan

PhD Supervision

Mr. Li Siyuan, Confucius Institutes in the Discourse of Power in International Relations, September 2012 to present.