Northeast Asia is one of the world’s most dynamic areas in terms of economic growth and significance for global trade. While China attracts most attention, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are all strong economies. Add Russia and the US in the mix and the importance of Northeast Asia cannot be overstated.

Yet, it is also region characterised by “strategic diversity” where a number of unresolved territorial disputes threaten to undermine the very source of regional prosperity: maritime trade. Of all the disputed territories in the Asia-Pacific region, Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands in the South China Sea have risen to prominence in last couple of years, due to the involvement of the world’s major economies. However, other, equally intractable, disputes cannot be neglected. Among these cases are disputes between Japan and Korea over Dokdo/Takeshima island and the Kuril islands that are held by Russia but claimed by Japan. Further regional conflicts involve not disputed islands but disputed fishing areas that frequently witness clashes between fishing boats and respective law enforcement agencies.

The China Policy Institute has invited number of academic specialists and policy analysts to reflect on the various territorial disputes in Northeast Asia. The series will run all this week (Oct 13-19). Contributors include:

Robert E. Kelly, Pusan National University, Korea, Korea’s ‘Dokdo’ Claim is about more than just Territory – It’s Identity.

Ian Bowers, Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies, Norway, Amphibious Posturing and the Senkaku Dispute.

Misato Matsuoka, University of Warwick, UK, The Islands In-between.

Alex Calvo, Nagoya University, Japan, Taiwan’s Pivotal Place in Asia’s Territorial Dispute Chessboard.

Miha Hribernik, Maplecroft, UK, The Kuril Islands dispute in 2014: (Yet) another setback.

Harry Kazianis, The National Interest, USA, The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands: The Spark for Great Power War?

Alexander Bukh, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, ‘Takeshima’ and ‘Northern Territories’ in Japan’s Nationalism.

David Welch, Centre for International Governance Innovation & University of Waterloo, Canada, How to fix Japan-Korea relations.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.


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