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  • Author: Linus Hagström
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: How to understand Japan's identity is one of the most enduring themes in research on the country's international relations. In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of theoretically innovative analyses, which go beyond, and problematize, the alleged 'peace' identity stipulated by Peter J. Katzenstein (1996) and Thomas U. Berger (1998) in the 1990s. Xavier Guillaume (2011) published a monograph last year, while Alexander Bukh (2010) and Taku Tamaki made one valuable contribution each in 2010. The aim of this article is primarily to review Tamaki's book, but to some extent this is done in light of those other works. Just like Bukh and Guillaume, Tamaki adopts a relational understanding of identity, where the self is defined in opposition to other(s). However, where Bukh analyses the Soviet Union/Russia as Japan's 'other', and Guillaume directs his investigation towards multiculturalism and 'the West', Tamaki's focus is squarely on Japan's relationship with South Korea.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, South Korea, Soviet Union
  • Author: Hidetaka Yoshimatsu
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since the late 1990s, China, Japan, and South Korea – the core states in Northeast Asia – have gradually engaged in various initiatives and institutions for regional cooperation. Such initiatives extend from summitry to functional cooperation in finance, environmental protection, logistics, and other areas. Furthermore, the three countries have shown their willingness to vitalize cross-border economic activities by concluding commercial arrangements. Given these evolutions, this article seeks to address the following questions: what features are found in trilateral cooperative initiatives and how these features are evaluated in terms of 'regional governance'? The paper advances two propositions. First, regional cooperation in Northeast Asia can be characterized as weak neoliberal orientation and intensive business involvements in cooperative projects in state-directed policy networks. Second, regional governance in Northeast Asia has gradually intensified the nature of regulatory governance in which the governments of the three countries sought to harmonize standards and regulatory systems through trilateral cooperation.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, South Korea, Northeast Asia
  • Author: James Llewelyn
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Vietnam War greatly destabilized Southeast Asia and led to almost a decade of fighting by America and its Asian allies. It was fought on the principle that if communism was unchecked it would overrun the region, with the Southeast Asian countries falling under communist control like 'dominoes'. While countries such as Thailand, South Korea, and Australia provided military support to assist American strategic objectives, Japan, however, was constrained by its peace constitution and thus unable to provide direct military assistance. Nonetheless, under the leadership of the avid anti-communist conservative leadership of Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, Japan still managed to play a role in the Vietnam War. Although Japan initially entertained the notion of facilitating mediation, with Okinawa's reversion hanging in the balance after 1967, Japan's leadership took a more hawkish approach on Vietnam in order to ensure that Washington would agree to reverting Okinawa to Japanese administrative control.
  • Political Geography: Japan, America, Asia, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand
  • Author: Mireya Solís, Saori N. Katada
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The conventional view in the field of international political economy – that greater economic interdependence creates an incentive for active foreign policy engagement – is hard to reconcile with Japan's foreign economic policy. To explain this counterintuitive outcome, we develop a new model of domestic demand for policy activism that integrates strands of prospect theory, collective action, and interest aggregation. We argue that both the rationale for mobilization and lobbying capacity are essential elements in understanding the domestic demand for significant foreign policy departures. We apply this conceptual framework to Japanese foreign economic policy in two issue areas: finance (Japan's response to the 1980s Latin American debt crisis and the late 1990s Asian Financial Crisis), and trade (Japan's Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Mexico and South Korea).
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Chung-in Moon, Sang-Young Rhyu
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The alliance with the United States has not only provided South Korea with a credible military deterrence against North Korea, but also helped normalize its economy through extensive military and economic assistance and assertive policy intervention for macroeconomic stabilization and export drive. South Korea was also one of major beneficiaries of the American-built liberal international economic order. No matter how strong the alliance tie would be, however, major external economic crises or subsequent critical junctures (e.g. the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the global financial crisis of 2008) tempted South Korea to seek an alternative arrangement by attempting to depart from the USled economic and financial architecture. Nevertheless, such moves were fundamentally constrained because of the preference of continuing stability in international economic and financial institutions and its renewed emphasis on the alliance in face of North Korea's nuclear threats. South Korea is likely to adhere to the American-led currency regime for the time being.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Alon Levkowitz
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the reasons that led to the six United States forces withdrawals from South Korea between 1947 and 2008 and the Republic of Korea's responses to these policies. The article discusses the local and global aspects of these forces' functions and tasks and attempts to understand why Korea has not prepared itself for the withdrawal of the US forces throughout the years. The article will argue that there might be a seventh withdrawal of US forces from Korea in the near future, which South Korea and the USA should begin preparing for.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Many debates about engagement with North Korea hinge on the precise nature of North Korea's foreign economic relations: whether trade and investment are on commercial or non-commercial terms; the extent of illicit activities, and the changing geographic patterns of North Korea's trade. This article provides an effort to reconstruct North Korea's foreign economic relations, subordinating our estimates to the discipline of the balance of payments accounting framework. Among the most salient findings for the debate about engagement and sanctions is that North Korea's trade and investment have continued to increase despite the onset of the nuclear crisis and a decline in illicit activities. This growth has occurred in part because of the growing weight of China and South Korea in trade, aid, and investment. We also find that economic relations between North and South Korea have a substantially greater non-commercial component than those occurring across the China–North Korea border.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea