A Bilateral Anatomy of Plunder: Ferdinand Marcos and the Looting of Japanese War Reparations

The study aims to definitively determine whether the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos profited from his involvement in the 1956 Reparations Agreement between Japan and the Philippines. The explores a bilateral anatomy of plunder—of how the Philippine dictator and his cronies, Japanese businessmen, and politicians colluded to loot Japanese war reparations—by revisiting the literature on kleptocracy, Marcos’s authoritarian rule, and issues of the reparations agreement, examining old and new sources that have recently become available (e.g., Philippine Reparations Commission reports, newspaper clippings, files from the Presidential Commission on Good Government, and declassified US intelligence reports), and consulting Filipino and Japanese scholars who previously worked on these subjects. Existing studies on Marcos and the reparations agreement did not reckon with the sources of information that this proposed research would like to examine, sources that will help untangle the complexities that the reparations agreement caused on both Japan and the Philippines.