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  • Author: Yukiko Miyagi
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Japan's vital interests, both its energy security and US alliance, are at stake in the Middle East. Change in Japan's Middle East policy is charted over three periods, from a stance independent of the United States to one increasingly aligned with US policy. This is explained in terms of four variables: level of US hegemony, threats in East Asia, energy vulnerabilities in the Middle East, and normative change inside Japan. Japan's policy in Middle East/North Africa reflects its general move toward a more militarily enhanced version of mercantile realism.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Timo Kivimäki
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Amitav Acharya and Barry Buzan wrote in volume seven of this journal that ' the main ideas in this discipline (of international relations) are deeply rooted in the particularities and peculiarities of European history, the rise of the West to world power, and the imposition of its own political structure onto the rest of the world. ' Taking this claim as the starting point the intention of this article is to see where international relations theory over-generalizes and how it could learn from the alternative experience of East Asia. The main focus of the critique will be on two central ideas: first, the idea that unrestricted state sovereignty is necessarily a problem and a security dilemma in international relations; and second, the idea that there is a need for global hierarchy and hegemony in order to tackle the security dilemma. The article uses qualitative scholarship on the dynamics and structures of peace as the point of departure and then assesses the plausibility of these ideas quantitatively using two data sets, the Correlates of War and the PRIO/Uppsala data set (1946 – 2008).
  • Political Geography: Europe, East Asia
  • Author: Timo Kivimäki
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: East Asia has experienced a drastic decline in incidences of warfare and has had exceptionally low levels of battle deaths after 1979. However, East Asian peace had already begun in 1967 inside ASEAN. Is it possible that East Asian peace began in ASEAN and spread to the rest of East Asia? This is the question that this article aims to tackle by showing the association between a reasonable and plausible explanation, the ASEAN Way, and East Asian peace after 1979. The argument about the role of the ASEAN approach in the pacification of East Asia is based on an examination of the patterns of frequency of conflicts, numbers of battle deaths and conflict termination. In this kind of examination, it seems that the recipes for peace in East Asia after 1979 are similar to those of ASEAN after 1967, and that their relationship to conflicts was also very similar.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Matake Kamiya
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: For those who live in the American International Relations community, Etel Solingen's Nuclear Logics: Contrasting Paths in East Asia the Middle East undoubtedly represents a stunning success of the study of nuclear proliferation. In 1994, Solingen published an influential article in this field of research, 'The Political Economy of Nuclear Restraint', in International Security, and argued that countries with ruling coalitions pursuing economic liberalization have stronger incentives to refrain from developing nuclear weapons than those with 'inward-looking, nationalist, and radical-confessional coalitions'. Based on the review of cases in South Asia, on the Korean Peninsula, in the Middle East, and in Latin America, she concluded that the former are internationalist in nature and are unwilling to damage international trade and investment by going nuclear, whereas the latter are more likely to pursue nuclear weapons because they care much less about the economic costs of nuclearization. In Nuclear Logics, Solingen expands such findings of her 1994 article and argues even more persuasively that 'internationalizing models of political survival make the development of nuclear weapons less likely than inward-looking models' (p. 46). Starting from 'the puzzle of contrasting historical trajectories' across East Asia and the Middle East since the late 1960s (p. 4), Solingen conducts the first ever 'systematic efforts' (p. 11) to explain why East Asia has largely moved toward denuclearization while the norm among the core Middle East powers has been nuclearization. Criticizing four alternative theories of nuclear choices of states, i.e. neorealism, neoliberal institutionalism, constructivism, and 'theories about democracy and foreign policy', as insufficient to solve her puzzle, Solingen insists that the study of nuclear proliferation must pay more attention to the effects of internationalization on domestic politics and nuclear policy. According to Solingen, '[w]hereas inward-looking models might have regarded nuclear weapons as assets in the arsenal of building regime legitimacy, outward-oriented ones regarded them as liabilities' (p. 277) and the two distinct patterns of nuclear choices in the Middle East and East Asia during the 'second nuclear age' can be well explained by the heavy regional concentrations of respective models in respective regions. In East Asia, the concentration of leaders who stake their political survival on economic growth through integration into the global economy reinforced individual, domestic incentives of leaders to avoid nuclearization across the borders. In the Middle East, the concentration of leaders who resist internationalization by trade protection, import substitution, and state entrepreneurship had the opposite effect. In fact, Solingen's careful case studies of four 'nuclear aspirants' in East Asia and five in the Middle East successfully demonstrate that '[t]he nuclear choices of all pertinent cases' in the two regions since the 1960s 'are compatible with domestic survival models' (p. 277).
  • Topic: International Relations, Nuclear Weapons, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, East Asia, Korea
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article argues that in the post-Cold War strategic transition in East Asia, ASEAN has helped to create a minimalist normative bargain among the great powers in the region. The regional norms propagated through the 'ASEAN way', emphasizing sovereignty, non-intervention, consensus, inclusion, and informality were extremely important in the initial stages of bringing the great powers – especially China and the United States – to the table in the immediate post-Cold War period. During this time, ASEAN helped to institutionalize power relations legitimizing the role of the great powers as well as the 'voice' of smaller states in regional security management. But the process of institutionalizing great power relations contains further steps, and what ASEAN has achieved is well short of the kind of sustained cooperation on the part of the great powers that is so necessary to the creation of a new stable regional society of states. Moreover, ASEAN has provided the great powers with a minimalist normative position from which to resist the more difficult processes of negotiating common understanding on key strategic norms. At the same time, ASEAN's model of 'comfortable' regionalism allows the great powers to treat regional institutions as instruments of so-called 'soft' balancing, more than as sites for negotiating and institutionalizing regional 'rules of the game' that would contribute to a sustainable modus vivendi among the great powers. As such, ASEAN's role is limited in, and limiting of, the great power bargain that must underpin the negotiation of the new regional order. This is a task that the regional great powers (the United States, China, and Japan) must themselves undertake.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, East Asia
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry, Takashi Inoguchi
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Over the last half century, the United States has been a dominating presence in East Asia. In the shadow of the Cold War, a regional order took shape organized around an array of bilateral alliances and an open trade system – all tied to the United States. In this American-led regional hegemonic order, the United States provided security through security agreements and the forward deployment of its forces while it supported the expansion and integration of East Asian countries in the context of an open multilateral world economy. The United States–Japan alliance was the cornerstone of this regional order. In the background, the East Asian region was nested within the wider Cold War-era American-led Western order. After the Cold War ended, this Pax Americana was extended outward throughout the globe. Alliances, free trade, multilateral institutions, democratic community, and American hegemony all went together.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, East Asia
  • Author: Sun Xuefeng
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, China has adopted various multilateral policies to shape a more favorable regional environment. The policy of integration, which accommodates both the United States and neighboring countries' core interests, can succeed in achieving China's goals in regional multilateral cooperation. On the contrary, the policies of dominance, co-governance, and guidance have been suffering from frustration or failure because they threaten the core interests of either the United States or China's regional partners. The efficiency of China's multilateral policies is strongly shaped by two factors: the dominant United States wary of China's rapid rise and the substantial power gaps between the two states. In the coming decade, China may rise to the second rank in terms of economic capabilities, but the United States can still maintain its dominant position. So China will adhere to the policy of integration to maintain its favorable regional environment in East Asia. China's rising position and its integration policy will result in the continuation of competition in the regional cooperation mechanisms and the stability of the US regional alliance system in the decade to come.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia
  • Author: Saori N. Katada
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: More than a decade has passed since the East Asian economies were marred by the massive financial crisis, which some assessed as the best thing that could have happened to the region (Kristopf and WuDunn, 2000). This 'blessing in disguise' allegedly comes from the fact that the governments of the crisis-hit countries 'responded by launching one of the most ambitious governance reform projects in living memory' (p. 1). Such reform is implemented by the East Asian governments' active compliance to international standards of transparency, finance, and corporate governance. The influence of this so-called 'regulatory neoliberalism' has been credited as the source of convergence of East Asian economies to international norms.
  • Topic: Government, Governance
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Author: Christian Wirth
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China–Japan relations are frequently analyzed either in the light of disputes about different interpretations of history, the consequence of a strategic power shift in the Asia-Pacific resulting from the rise of China or as a conflict between Chinese and Japanese national identities. This paper argues that bilateral relations should be assessed on the basis of a comprehensive approach. It concludes that the current state of bilateral relations can be understood as the result of identity crises of the political systems in Beijing and Tokyo. Owing to the rapidly changing environment in East Asia and their inherent conservative natures, both political systems' perceptions and policies lag behind present realities. This renders it difficult for them to effectively address important domestic and international problems and consequently affects bilateral relations negatively as it complicates the accurate redefinition of the representation of 'self' and 'other' with regard to foreign relations.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Beijing, East Asia, Tokyo
  • Author: Kentaro Sakuwa
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In contemporary East Asia, political rivalry between China and Japan is often discussed. However, little has been done to systematically analyze the bilateral relationship and possible conflict escalation. In this paper, I employ the multiple-hierarchy model of regional politics offered by power transition theorists, in order to examine the recent Sino– Japanese relationship. After examining the effect of the factors suggested by the theory, I conclude that China's rise does not pose immediate destabilizing effects on regional security because the relative rise of China's capability is at best moderate. I also argue that the dyadic relationship has been pacified by several factors such as interest similarity and defense-dominant geography, in spite of China's overall rise. Finally, I offer some policy recommendations suggested by the theory-driven analysis.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia