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  • Author: Taehee Whang, Michael Lammbrau, Hyung-min Joo
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: For the past two decades, North Korea has made a series of military provocations, destabilizing the regional security of East Asia. In particular, Pyongyang has launched several conventional attacks on South Korea. Although these attacks seem unpredictable and random, we attempt in this article to find some patterns in North Korean provocations. To this end, we employ a machine-learning technique to analyze news articles of the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) from 1997 to 2013. Based on five key words (‘years,’ ‘signed,’ ‘assembly,’ ‘June,’ and ‘Japanese’), our model identifies North Korean provocations with 82% accuracy. Further investigation into these attack words and the contexts in which they appear produces significant insights into the ways in which we can detect North Korean provocations.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Seung Hyok Lee
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: When Kim Dae-jung and Koizumi Junichiro visited Pyongyang in 2000 and 2002, their visits facilitated a perception shift toward North Korea in South Korea and Japan. This was a consequence of the two democratic societies expanding and redefining the acceptable boundaries of their national security identities and principles in a changing regional environment. Although the expansion of societal security discourse did not lead extreme ‘revisionists’ to implement drastic strategic policy transformations in either country, it did provoke a ‘mutual security anxiety’ between the South Korean and Japanese publics, as they felt increasingly uncertain about each other's future security trajectory. This mutual anxiety, in which both countries tend to view each other as potential security risk, while overlooking the existence of moderate democratic citizens on the other side, continues to provide a powerful ideational undertone to the bilateral relationship, which contributes to persistent misunderstanding at various levels.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Kan Kimura
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, East Asian countries have faced serious challenges with regard to regional security. The bilateral relationships between China and Japan, and Japan and South Korea, have become increasingly strained due to a variety of disagreements over key political issues, such as territorial claims. Some observers argue that China and Japan may become involved in a direct military confrontation in the near future over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. The increasing levels of naval and aerial engagements between the two countries demonstrate that such arguments can no longer be seen as 'out of the question'. While two democracies in the region, Japan and South Korea, are both major alliance partners with the United States and share the key security concern of countering North Korea's nuclear and conventional provocations, the two have suffered deteriorating relations since 2012. For instance, the General Security of Military Information Agreement, which provided a mechanism through which Japan and South Korea could share military technology, was canceled in July 2012. Furthermore, the two states have been embroiled in an increasingly antagonistic territorial dispute over Takeshima/Dokdo Islands since President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the islands in August 2012.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • 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: Mark Beeson, Richard Higgott
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Middle power theory is enjoying a modest renaissance. For all its possible limitations, middle power theory offers a potentially useful framework for thinking about the behavior of, and options open, to key states in the Asia-Pacific such as South Korea, Japan and Australia, states that are secondary rather than primary players. We argue that middle powers have the potential to successfully implement 'games of skill', especially at moments of international transition. Frequently, however, middle powers choose not to exercise their potential influence because of extant alliance commitments and the priority accorded to security questions. We sub-stantiate these claims through an examination of the Australian case. Australian policymakers have made much of the potential role middle powers might play, but they have frequently failed to develop an independent foreign policy position because of pre-existing alliance commitments. We suggest that if the 'middle power moment' is to amount to more than rhetoric, opportunities must be acted upon.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Timothy Rich
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: What explains patterns in North Korea's own coverage of nuclear issues? The conventional wisdom assumes that North Korea focuses its attention on the United States and that changes in the administrations in the United States and South Korea influence such rhetoric, yet this remains largely untested. Content analysis using daily English news reports from the Korean Central News Agency from 1997 through 2012 provides an explicit base for how the regime attempts to frame nuclear issues for a foreign audience. References to the United States positively correlate with nuclear reference while findings regarding US and South Korean administrations conflict with the conventional wisdom. References to the Kims also negatively correlate with nuclear references with variation after Kim Jong Il's death. More broadly this analysis suggests the possible leverage of analyzing North Korea's own materials.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Takamichi Mito
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This book by Kent Calder successfully demonstrates the growing geopolitical ties between oil and gas producers and consumers around the central Eurasian continent, which spreads from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and the former Soviet Union to India, China, South Korea and Japan; this vast area he terms the New Silk Road. According to Calder, these ties are being institutionalized, a development he terms the 'new continentalism'. This is brought by a series of critical junctures in geopolitics and the growing economic needs of oil and gas producers and consumers in the region. These junctures signify major policy changes caused by international or domestic factors, such as, the oil crises of the 1970s; Deng Xiaoping's Four Modernizations in China, which started in 1978; India's financial crisis, which led to economic reforms from 1991; the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and the rise of Vladimir Putin in 1999. These subsequently brought about a series of politico-economic realignments; nationally, regionally, and internationally, a pre-requisite to the rise of the new continentalism.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, South Korea
  • Author: Motoshi Suzuki
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Northeast Asian region has attracted at least two types of international relations analyses. A first type focuses primarily on military and hard security and investigates changes in states' power and the politics of coercion, balance of power, and alliances. A second type is interested in cross-border economic activities, regional interdependence, and institutionalization and then examines the states' policies of development, trade, money, and technology, as well as the politics of institutional building and reform. T.J. Pempel's edited volume synthesizes the two approaches by viewing the mutually shaping interactions between economics and security as a major feature of regional politics. The book is a fruit of collaborative efforts by American, Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese scholars who provide in-depth analyses of recent developments in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Reform
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, London
  • Author: T. J. Pempel
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Considerable research has been devoted to unraveling the complicated warp and woof of East Asia's onrushing regionalism. This book breaks from studies that take as the key unit of regional analysis either ASEAN (presumably in ' the regional driver's seat'), all of East Asia (the prevailing template of recent interactions), or the Asia-Pacific (the unit that most accounts for the preeminent East Asian influence of the United States). Calder and Ye argue instead that 'the increasingly intense and profound economic and social interactions within Northeast Asia…' (p. 251) are forging Japan, China, and South Korea into a far more significant 'synergistic entity'. In stressing the cooperative dimension of relations among these three powerful countries, the book not only calls for a new focus for regional analysis, but it also challenges the more traditional treatment of Northeast Asia as a hotbed of geopolitical tensions and rivalries.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Hyon Joo Yoo
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since the 1990s, Japan and the Republic of Korea have chosen dissimilar policy options with respect to the US-led missile defense (MD) systems in East Asia. What explains the two countries' dissimilar MD strategies? Inspired by neoclassical realism, this study introduces a framework of domestic hurdles that combines Randall Schweller's cohesion model and Jeffry Taliaferro's resource extraction model. It sheds light on the degree of elite cohesion and social and economic impediments as key causal determinants that impede balancing against external threats. Although the influence of systemic variables that suppose optimal policy options, such as balancing, domestic hurdles impede or delay such options. This study will provide useful contributions to international relations by offering comparative and theoretical analyses on different paths that Tokyo and Seoul have chosen for their MD policies.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, South Korea
  • 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