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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Frederick R. Dickinson
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: As Yukiko Koshiro appropriately notes at the outset of her striking new study, the Asia-Pacific component of World War II comes with many labels, each associated with particular audiences. 'Pacific War' is the preferred term for most Americans, who focus on the fight between Japanese and American forces in the Pacific. 'Fifteen Years' War' is used by Japanese Marxists to describe a much longer series of battles begun on the Asian continent in 1931 and expanding to wider destruction through 1945. 'Greater East Asia War' is the label of choice of the Japanese right, which continues to imagine a battle for' liberation' of Asian peoples from Western imperialism.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Michael Strausz
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Why did Japan begin scientific whaling, a policy that benefits few domestically and alienates many around the world? In this essay, I argue that Japan's scientific whaling regime was formed as a result of a 'two-level game' between President Reagan and Prime Minister Nakasone. Although Reagan was faced with a unified, anti-whaling Congress, he himself was not much concerned about the issue. Nakasone was also not particularly concerned about whaling, and he initially was faced with a Diet that was divided on how to deal with whaling (although it became less divided over time). Ultimately, these circumstances led Japan to develop the scientific whaling regime that persists to this day.
  • Topic: Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • 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: Unryu Suganuma
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Japan's nationalization of the Diaoyu Islands in 2012 reignited the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute that had been relatively quiet since the 1970s,making news headlines yet again. Renewed attention to the dispute prompted the publication of a number of books in Japan and China, including this book, claiming to be 'the first academic book in more than a decade focusing exclusively on the Senkaku issue....'While Eldridge's book has some positive points, such as addressing declassified information relating to the Diaoyu Islands in the period between the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) in 1951 and the Reversion Treaty in1971, the book has some critical shortcomings.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China