Sourced from Europe Asia Security Blog

Nothing of substance right now, although there is much to talk about.

M.Taylor Fravel has a great post up that reflects a lot of my own thoughts and apprehensions on issues regarding the current Senkaku conflict.* It seems to be reviving for the third time this year after having been pronounced dead twice.

Essential reading also includes the FT, and the China Daily.

There has also been some interesting, although curious approaches toward Australia and NZ regarding the diplomacy around the Senkaku Islands dispute. On the other hand NZ’s own PM was due to go to China soon but it was suggested by the Chinese side that now was not a good time to discuss the future of relations. Either the internal situation is as bad as some have suspected, or there is a high likelihood that after the election/transition in the US/China that the US-China relationship will take precedence for a while as the two sides attempt to sort out the rather challenging short-term issues they have with each other before going forward on relations with others.

I did want to draw attention however to a very interesting development that is a promising development for those outside the US-Japan institutional security policy framework. RUSI has set up its own Japan program – RUSI Japan hopes to become “an independent research hub for Asia-Pacific defence and security.”

As the Europe Asia Security Forum (big H/T for drawing attention to this) blog notes:

More than one of the panelists pointed to the need to diversify from an over-concentration on relations with the US. The perspective from the UK side was that whenever we talk to the Americans about something going on in the world, we always have to put it in terms of what affects them. They are ‘self-absorbed’. Ouch. The Japanese perspective was that the security discourse in Japan is too US-centric, does not take a global view, and lacks ‘comprehensive’ insights.

Friend of JSW Philip Shelter-Jones also notes that:

I think the RUSI team is making a very positive effort in extending its reach to Asia, but I hope they use their base in Tokyo to get around the region. S. E. Asian nations are as much a part of Asia-Pacific defence and security as China and Japan are. Russia did not get a mention in the debate at all, so I hope the Russian influence and interests will not be overlooked.

I would like to endorse Philip’s view regarding the need to better consider some of the security and geopolitical dynamics in SE Asia right now in particular. After Noda’s meeting in Russia in December we may even be considering some kind of interesting geopolitical alignment between Japan and Russia…maybe.

* MTC has a more “expressive” take on the situation well worth reading.

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Corey Wallace joined Japan Security Watch in 2011. He writes on Japan security-related topics, focusing on issues and stories that may not find their way into the English language media. He also hosts the blog Sigma1 where he writes on Japanese domestic politics and broader issues in international relations. Prior to taking up a PhD Corey was a participant on the JET program (2004-2007) and on returning to New Zealand he worked at the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology from 2007-2010 as a policy adviser. Corey lectures two courses at the University of Auckland. One is on the international relations of the Asia-Pacific, which contains a significant focus on East Asia security issues. The other is a course on China's international relations. His primary academic interests before his current Japan focus were science and technology politics/policy, issues of ethnic identity, and Chinese modern history and politics. He carries over his interest in issues of identity and history into his PhD where he is looking at generationally situated concepts of national identity and their impact on foreign policy ideas in Japan.
Corey Wallace has 113 post(s) on Asia Security Watch