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  • Author: Kai Schulze
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, Japan's foreign policy elite has started to increasingly securitize China in their security discourse. The harsher tone from Tokyo is widely evaluated as a direct reaction to China’s own assertive behavior since 2009/2010. Yet, the change in the Japanese government’s rhetoric had started changing before 2010. In order to close this gap, the present article sheds light on an alternative causal variable that has been overlooked in the literature: a change in Japan’s security institutions, more specifically, the upgrade of the Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense, in 2007. While utilizing discursive institutionalism and securitization-approaches, the present article demonstrates that a strong correlation indeed exists between the institutional shift and the change in Japan’s defense whitepapers in the 2007–10 period. It thus opens up a research avenue for the further scrutiny of the hitherto understudied but significant causal linkage in the study of contemporary Japanese security policy toward China
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia-Pacific
  • 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: Alexander C. Tan, Michael I. Magcamit
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explore and explain the process through which Taiwan utilizes free trade – both at multilateral and bilateral levels – in enhancing its shrinking de facto sovereignty against the backdrop of ubiquitous 'China factor' in the twenty-first century. It argues that China's sinicization project creates a scenario wherein increasing cross-strait stability ironically leads to decreasing de facto sovereignty for Taiwan. Due to this existing cross-strait security dilemma, Taiwanese leaders are being forced to preserve the island's quasi-independent statehood due to fears of losing its remaining de facto autonomy over domestic and foreign affairs. In essence, Taiwan chooses to be de facto free by remaining de jure unfree. Taiwan's sovereign space, therefore, becomes a pivotal referent object of its national security policy and strategy. Balancing between the two paradoxical interests of enhancing sovereignty while maintaining the Chinese-dominated cross-strait status-quo underlines the relentless games, changes, and fears that Taiwan confronts today.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Jungkun Seo
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Conventional wisdom is that trade policy is often guided by geopolitical security considerations. A growing body of research addresses the security–trade linkage as a plausible cause for executive negotiations over the Korea–US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) in 2007. Yet, the approval of a trade deal with the Asian ally by America's legislature in 2011 features not only ‘security ties’ but also ‘electoral connections’. This paper seeks to examine the question of whether alliance relationships would inevitably translate into domestic commitments. Bringing domestic politics into consideration, this article also fills the gap in the literature on Congress-focused research of the KORUS FTA and sheds light on how lawmakers strike a balance between the principle of US foreign policy and the reality of conflicting domestic interests.
  • Topic: Security, Geopolitics, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, North America, Korea, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Koji Kagotani, Yuki Yanai
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A number of US overseas bases were deployed around the world to protect allies and maintain regional peace. Some bases have been stationed in the partner countries for the long term, whereas others were withdrawn from their partners' territories in the face of strong local opposition. Understanding local support for US overseas bases is indispensable for managing alliance politics and pursuing US grand strategy. This article addresses the 1972–2006 Okinawa gubernatorial elections where the US base issue had been chronically politicized and locals supported pro-base candidates six out of ten times contrary to their anti-base preferences. This article addresses external threats as a determinant of vote choice. We analyze the gubernatorial elections as the opportunities for Okinawans to convey their support for or opposition to the current national security policy since US bases in Okinawa are critical to Japan's security. We find that external threats do encourage Okinawans to support pro-base candidates, but the effect of perceived security-related risks is moderate. Moreover, physical and psychological costs such as airplane crashes, environmental and noise pollution, and rape incidents have larger influence on the election outcomes rather than material benefits such as the fiscal transfers and base-related subsidies, which is contrary to the conventional view.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East
  • Author: Han Dorussen, Emil J. Kirchner
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Under what conditions do regional security organizations (RSOs) take up a broader agenda or scope in security governance? Further, does broader scope matter for regional security? These questions are addressed using a quantitative comparative analysis of 25 RSOs over the period 1990–2009. Similarity among members in their capacities and political systems are identified as two central conditions for increased scope. In contrast, hegemony is not a significant factor. Institutionalization also seems to matter: RSOs that have been around longer and encompass more members are more successful in expanding their security agenda. There is only weak empirical support for the idea that RSOs with a broader scope have a stronger pacifying effect on regional security. The implications of these findings are discussed in greater detail for Asian RSOs, which have only limited scope and operate in comparatively high levels of insecurity. However, except from the legacy of conflict, variables identified in the general models apply similarly to Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Atsushi Tago, Maki Ikeda
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The United States uses two forms of multilateralism to increase levels of foreign public support for military action: diplomatic multilateralism and operational multilateralism. Diplomatic multilateralism is typically done by obtaining a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing military action. The use of multinational forces, the so-called coalition of the willing and many flags program, is an example of operational multilateralism. While scholars have empirical evidence that diplomatic multilateralism generates foreign domestic support for the use of force, there is no equivalent study for operational multilateralism. We do not know if or how much the two types of multilateralism would differ in inducing foreign domestic support for military action. This article, by using Japan as a field of survey experiment, answers these questions.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan
  • 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: L. Black
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The literature on Japan's international security policy, including overseas interventions, since the end of the Cold War has focused on Japan's emergence as a 'normal' state. This discourse is informed by realist theory, which posits that states aim to increase their material power to secure themselves in a hostile anarchical order. This article explores the maritime security role of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) to elucidate alternative theoretical paths that shed new light on Japan's foreign interventions. Specifically, a critical constructivist approach is applied to demonstrate the unique maritime security responsibilities that the JCG has assumed in line with Japan's pacifist identity and even at the expense of the Maritime Self-defence Forces, as demonstrated in Diet debates on Japan's Anti-Piracy Measures Bill in April 2009. Rather than pressuring states to become 'normal', there is much to be gained from understanding how identities inform alternative approaches in International Relations.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Japan