Convenor(s): Professor Roger Goodman and Dr Giulio Pugliese
Speaker(s): Professor Ra Mason (University of East Anglia)
Simmering storm in the East China Sea: How Sino-Japanese competition risks fracturing a fragile status
As the home of thousands of American and Japanese alliance forces stationed on Okinawa, site of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and host to incursions by North Korean spy-boats, the calm of the East China Sea (ECS) could erupt into a regional security storm in short order. Here the world’s three largest economies and a range of other actors bump up against each other across a small body of water, which could see greater turbulence trigger the beginning of a chain reaction that will challenge regional security regimes and spiral out of control. As these complex forces converge, will a combination of fallouts from the global health crisis, major conventional warfare and cyber aggression confirm a renewed focus upon state-centric Realpolitik approaches to geostrategy? Or, will the horrors of our "brave new world" spur new conceptions and definitions of security that can be illustrated through the de-escalation of tensions across the ECS?
Ra Mason is Sasakawa Associate Professor of International Relations and Japanese Foreign Policy at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Before that, he held positions at the University of Central Lancashire and Tohoku University. Ra is author of Japan’s Relations with North Korea and the Recalibration of Risk and co-author of Regional Risk and Security in Japan and Risk State (Routledge), in addition to publishing widely on Okinawa, Djibouti and the DPRK, as well as writing for the Asahi Shimbun’s Asia Japan Watch, The Conversation UK and The Asan Forum.