Japan

Japan’s Coast Guard and Maritime Self-Defense Force: Cooperation among Siblings

  • by

This MAP Analysis is a preview of the author’s forthcoming article in the January issue of Asia Policy. Coping with “gray zone” situations has in recent years become the core security challenge for Japan. Since September 2012, Beijing has been challenging Japan’s sovereign control of the Senkaku Islands by regularly sending law-enforcement vessels into Japanese territorial waters and contiguous zones. Beijing sends civilian or paramilitary forces to change facts on the ground while daring the targeted country to use force to stop these activities. These incursions, which do not amount to an armed attack, are blurring the line between crime… Read More »Japan’s Coast Guard and Maritime Self-Defense Force: Cooperation among Siblings

Japan-Malaysia Cooperation in the New Security Landscape of the Indo-Pacific

  • by

The year 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Japan. Relations between the two countries have remained robust since Malaysia’s adoption of its “Look East policy” in the 1980s, which has sent thousands of Malaysian students to receive education and training in Japan. In addition, Japan has contributed to safety of navigation initiatives in the Strait of Malacca since the early 1970s and participated in regional and international efforts to combat piracy and armed robberies at sea. Japan has also been keen on promoting cooperation in other areas such as maritime security, peacekeeping,… Read More »Japan-Malaysia Cooperation in the New Security Landscape of the Indo-Pacific

Japanese Maritime Assistance: A Status Quo Plus

  • by

The prospect of a “normal” Japan is welcomed by some and approached cautiously by others; the related debate over whether Japan is undergoing defense policy revolution or evolution is well-developed among regional specialists. Neither interpretation seems entirely faithful to empirical evidence. If we take Japan’s maritime cooperation with Southeast Asia as emblematic of Tokyo’s expanding role in regional security, we can argue that Tokyo is ushering in important but incremental changes to defense policy that are consistently anchored to established institutional patterns. Firmly biased toward tightly civilian-controlled, nonmilitarized approaches to security, these patterns place limits on future defense options that… Read More »Japanese Maritime Assistance: A Status Quo Plus

China-Russia Naval Cooperation in East Asia: Implications for Japan

  • by

During the evening of June 8, 2016, three Russian naval vessels, including a destroyer, entered the contiguous zone around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. Shortly afterward, a Chinese frigate also entered the area and proceeded toward the Russian ships, as if intending to meet with them. This represented the first instance of a Chinese military vessel entering the contiguous zone around the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by China as the Diaoyu Islands. Just as worrying, it appeared to show that Russia, which officially remains neutral with regard to the territorial dispute, had begun to coordinate… Read More »China-Russia Naval Cooperation in East Asia: Implications for Japan

China and Russia in the Western Pacific: Implications for Japan and the United States

  • by

China’s growing maritime power is changing the military balance among Asian countries. The continental power of Russia and China dominates the Asian landmass, while the maritime power of the United States and Japan secures freedom of the seas in the western Pacific. Neither side can project sufficient conventional power into the realm of the other.[1] After the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the Soviet Union learned the importance of sea power and by the early 1970s had developed the world’s second-largest navy. By the 1980s, the Soviet Union had reinforced its naval and air forces in the Far East, both… Read More »China and Russia in the Western Pacific: Implications for Japan and the United States

Maritime and Sovereignty Disputes in the East China Sea

  • by

The East China Sea has been described by some experts as a potential “flashpoint” of interstate conflict and great-power rivalry and a source of regional destabilization.[1] Much attention has focused on military activities in this maritime theater, primarily involving Japan, China, and South Korea. In contrast, this essay focuses on the complex maritime and sovereignty claims of Northeast Asian states in the East China Sea and unpacks the differing legal principles they use to support their claims in order to understand the enduring nature of the conflicts. These disputes are challenging precisely because they involve contests over both territorial sovereignty… Read More »Maritime and Sovereignty Disputes in the East China Sea