In 1938, KOMAKI Saneshige was appointed professor of the Department of Geography at Kyoto Imperial University, the first geography department in Japan. In 1940, he published the Declaration of Japanese Geopolitics and instructed students to write their theses on foreign countries, especially today's Southeast Asia. From then on, most of the students wrote their graduation theses on the theme of geopolitical area studies abroad. This study focuses one of the theses, "The New Structure of Indo-China Transportation" written by HORIKAWA Tadashi. He submitted his graduation thesis at the university in October 1941, and soon went to the war zone in China as a soldier.
In his thesis, Horikawa analyzed the situation of land, water, and air transportation in the continental Southeast Asia, and proposed a desirable transportation systems. From his thesis, we can see that his ability to read literature in French and English, and his ability to look at the world from a global perspective were higher than that of current university undergraduates. His graduation thesis included a critical examination of foreign literature, but he was indifferent to the ideology behind his geopolitical area study.
Keywords: Southeast Asia|Nanyo