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  • Author: Hiroki Takeuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China and Japan have been deepening economic interdependence over the last two decades, while China has recently shown territorial ambitions and initiated disputes with Japan. This runs contrary to the commercial liberal literature that argues that trade promotes peace. On the other hand, the realist theory also does not fully explain Sino-Japanese relations because Sino-Japanese relations are not always in conflict. The rise of China and the relative decline of Japan might explain increasing tensions in the rivalry relationship, but what drives Chinese leaders to initiate disputes? I address the importance of domestic politics to examine Sino-Japanese disputes. I argue that the recent deterioration of the bilateral relationship could be explained by the power struggle in the Chinese leadership. To support the logic of this argument, I use a game-theoretic model, which accounts for how the type of Chinese leadership influences foreign policy outcomes in Sino-Japanese relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: Kan Kimura, Koji Kagotani, Jeffrey R. Weber
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since its democratization, South Korea's foreign relations with Japan have become increasingly volatile. We investigate the diversionary incentives behind these fluctuations in South Korean foreign policy during 1988–2011. We show evidence that, similar to mature democracies, economic turmoil is driving Korean leaders to divert the public attention toward low-intensity disputes against Japan. However, unlike mature democracies, our results reveal that public approval ratings and national elections do not encourage leaders to engage in the diversionary behavior due to South Korean domestic political institutional settings and party system. These findings highlight challenges to foreign policy making in a new democracy, an issue that has not been considered in detail in the literature. We conclude that although historical antagonism and US commitment to East Asia may affect the Japan–South Korea relationship, economic diversionary incentives significantly determine the fluctuations in Japan–South Korea disputes
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • Author: Corey J. Wallace
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Tensions between Japan and its neighbors pose a significant problem for the viability of Japan's strategic 'dual hedge' between China and the United States. Japan's response has been to embrace renewed US commitment to the region while initiating comprehensive strategic partnerships in military, economic, and political spheres with nations 'south' of its traditional domain of strategic interest. Strengthened relationships with Southeast Asian nations, India, and Australia may turn out to be crucial for Japan as it will enable Japan to manage its security affairs without having to depart from its long-cultivated maritime security policy, and will enable Japan to continue to pursue a neo-mercantilist economic policy while also supporting the socioeconomic development of other regional players essential for future multipolar balance. Japan's diplomatic activities provide a useful 'strategic contrast' with China that will likely ensure Japan is accepted in the region. Japan's strategic pivot is also domestically sustainable and, therefore, deserves scholarly attention.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, India, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A successful edited volume not only requires that the editors recruit qualified specialists for each chapter but also that those editors integrate the separate analyses so that the book displays a coherence beyond the sum of its individual parts. Michael Green and Bates Gill have succeeded admirably on both dimensions: enlisting renowned Asian country specialists and experts on the various types of cooperation that characterize Asian multilateralism. Moreover, their Introduction illuminates how these types relate to one another. Over the past 45 years, Asia has experienced a plethora of multilateral political, economic, and security arrangements – some long-lived and well-institutionalized (ASEAN) and others formed to deal with a specific situation such as the Core Group that provided aid to those countries devastated by the December 2004 tsunami. There is considerable overlap in states ' memberships among these bodies, though they tend to group in a Southeast Asian-led formation centered in ASEAN and a Northeast Asian coterie dealing with North Korea in the Six-Party Talks. An additional transnational dimension may be found in nontraditional security such as infectious diseases, criminal and terrorist activities, piracy and human trafficking, all of which cross national boundaries and are generally seen by Asian states as susceptible to cooperative action. Traditional, hard security concerns – territorial disputes, historical animosities, and resource conflicts – on the other hand, though discussed in a number of multilateral settings, produce a great deal of rhetoric but very little resolution. Another concern, especially for great powers such as the United States and India, is whether East Asian multilateral groups will be inclusive or exclusive – trans-Pacific or Asia only.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, National Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia