BY EDWARD J. BARSS | IN-DEPTH PIECE
The continued passage of Chinese warships into Japan’s contiguous zone off the coast of the Diaoyu/Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands provide a sharp reminder of the risks of escalation over disputes in the East China Sea. The incident highlights the failure of China and Japan to include the area around the Islands as part of their East China Sea crisis communication mechanism. The Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, and Japan but are administered only by Japan. The inability of Japan and China to manage the dispute creates a situation where a military or political incident could easily escalate into crisis. Authoritative actors on all sides of the dispute share this view. Similarly, Japan’s Ministry of Defense views China’s actions as unilaterally escalating the situation in the East China Sea through force, creating serious concerns. While US commentators see the situation as perilous and view Chinese actions in the South China Sea as a precursor for the East China Sea. These views further suggest that a military or political incident involving the Pinnacle Islands is a matter of when, not if. The risk then for a crisis over the Islands is high in long term, as the dispute is being mismanaged due to an inability to legalize the dispute resolution process, the high number of naval/air patrols, poor bargaining tactics, and a widening of the dispute parameters. Further, there is a serious risk that negative public opinion in Japan and China and heavy handed tactics are moving the dispute from one that can be resolved through negotiation to a dispute that is perceived as winnable through force. This article intends to show that: 1) the risk of a new diplomatic or military incident over the Islands is high, 2) that the consequence of such an incident is likely further retrenchment and antagonism, and 3) that such antagonism is a precursor for actual conflict and greater escalation rather than returning to the current status quo.
Japanese administration of the Pinnacle Islands has meant regular coast guard patrols, the enforcement of fishing rights, research rights, and state land management. The islands are uninhabited with only slight commercial use since the early 1900’s. Moreover, despite decades of administration, Japan has not militarized the islands. Any militarization of the Pinnacle Islands would be highly provocative politically and would surely precipitate a forceful Chinese response. Moreover, the islands would serve no additionally useful military purpose given the dominance of US air and naval forces as well as the current force posture in the Ryukyu Islands. Japan is content to maintain its status quo position as any changes will likely bring political disadvantages and further challenges to its claims.
However, academics in the People’s Republic of China see Japan as purposely provocative, arguing that the Japanese government’s purchase of the islands and arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain escalated mostly dormant dispute. Some Chinese academics contend these provocative actions can be explained by Japan’s sensitivity over its declining global position and the repression of its history as an aggressor nation in World War 2. Zeng and Li find that other explanations, such as playing to populist sentiments, strategic needs, the intrinsic value of the islands, and freeriding off of American security guarantees, as unsatisfactory because they vary too little to provide a causal explanation. Instead, the authors maintain that China’s rise created position anxiety, leading Japan to use more aggressive actions to maintain its claim position vis-a-vis the Pinnacle Islands. They also argue that Japan’s repression of its historical belligerence explains the emotional (and therefore irrational) component of Japan’s approach to the dispute, as it allows Japan to act without context or sensitivity. The authors suggest that Japan has linked this dispute to China’s claims in the South China Sea, increasing its involvement there to contain China and counter its claims in the East China Sea.
Based on this assessment the authors contend China should prepare for a widening of the dispute. Therefore, they recommend that China deal with Japan on an issue by issue basis in order to compartmentalize the dispute. Further and more controversially, they recommend simultaneously increasing dialogue and using displays of force to get Japan to recognize its new and inferior global position. However, the authors seem unaware that these actions would motivate Japan to remilitarize at a faster pace, create a security dilemma, and further aggravate conflict over the islands. Moreover, while the authors contend that variables such as reputation and role on the international level are causing Japan to take action in specific disputes, they ignore the specific bargaining dynamics of the Pinnacle Island dispute. This creates a mirror opposite narrative to the argument that it is China’s weak bargaining position in the dispute which forced it to take strong provocative measures to maintain its claim.
Other Chinese writings on the topic view Japanese actions through a more military lens. For example, one author (Jiang Huai) argues that friction in the area, specifically over the Miyako Strait which is adjacent to the Pinnacle Islands, is due to geopolitical competition. Jiang argues this led to the buildup of US and Japanese listening posts, ship-to-ship missile forces, and the strengthening of island defenses in the area. Jiang’s argument echoes Zhou Yong and Ou-Yang Hui, who believe that the US and Japan’s force posture near the islands will deter action on Taiwan. Various authors’ military focus on the islands and adjacent areas can in part be explained by the fact that the Miyako Strait is considered a vital area in the ‘first island chain’ that must be bypassed for Chinese naval access to the Pacific. Similarly it is important to keep in mind Chinese military assessments of the adjacent Ryukyu Islands. Toshi Yoshihara, drawing on a number of Chinese sources, describes the importance of the Ryukyu Islands as a significant constraint on China’s Pacific ambitions due to the islands forming a bottleneck for access to the Pacific. To overcome this bottleneck, some military thinkers view the occupation of the Miyako and Ishigaki Islands as a key for diversifying Chinese operational planning and facilitation of an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategy around the Taiwan Strait. This reinforces the proximity value of the Pinnacle Islands as a naval resupply point, a staging area for operations, or for establishing no-go zones. Thereby putting the Pinnacle Islands as a possible tactical or operational objective in Chinese military planning.
Besides geopolitical and military consideration involving the islands, there are other factors which explain why China periodically intensifies or inhibits the Pinnacle Islands dispute. These factors include: domestic instability, the location of the islands, resources, nationalism, bargaining position, and wider diplomatic and strategic objectives. Factors like resources or location can be ignored as independent variables on the basis that they do not change or change very slowly. Moreover, the analytical utility of static/unchanging factors are limited because they cannot explain the timing of policy changes. Perceptions about the value of static/unchanging factors can shift, but these perceptions are indirectly linked to action and difficult to document. Proximate factors such as nationalism, domestic instability, and bargaining position are better at explaining the timing of Chinese actions. All three of these factors explain specific Chinese military and political escalations in the dispute, either because they unite domestic political audiences or strengthen Chinese claims.
Other factors such as economic interdependence, diplomatic relationships, the US Asian alliance system, and political reputation constrain Chinese behavior because they imply future and present costs to further conflict. Although, these factors, particularly economics, are pointed to as constraints on escalation, many similar constraints existed in the German and British relationship pre-World War One and yet did not prevent war. Germany’s pursuit of status driven by domestic concerns led to an adversarial relationship with Great Britain, despite economic ties, the regional alliance system, and concerns over political reputation. The same may be true with China, as the Communist Party of China’s pursuit for domestic stability premised on nationalism and economic growth are strong motivators for ‘irrational’ foreign policy actions despite these constraints. Regardless, indirect factors such as economic ties or the US alliance system do restrict conceptual space for new policy initiatives reducing the chance of sudden action. Proximate constraining factors such as diplomatic relationships or political reputation tend to depend on individual actions and perceptions, offering more variation but also making them less reliable as constraints. However, this may improve their utility as risk indicators.
Besides factors that motivate or demotivate action in the dispute, there are conceptual factors which can increase or decrease the intractability of the dispute. Issue linkage in particular, is increasing the intractability of the Pinnacle Islands dispute and increasing the risk of contagion. The links between the Pinnacle Island dispute and China’s claims in the South China Sea, its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) boundary dispute with Japan, and China’s fears of maritime encirclement all work to raise the perceived cost of compromise on any one issue. Issue linkage also creates a possibility of cascading risk, where the failure to resolve one dispute peacefully contributes to a higher risk for similar failure in other disputes. This does not mean that the current regional architecture will necessarily dissolve because of a ‘domino theory’ scenario. Rather, because Chinese thinkers believe the disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea are linked to a US ‘containment strategy’ aimed at blocking its blue water naval ambitions, failures or successes in the East China Sea becomes conceptually linked to the South China Sea and vice-versa. Therefore, for China, a dispute in one sea can weaken its position in another, leading to a more forceful response than would be had if it dealt with each dispute separately. When China deals with these disputes holistically rather than individually, its positions are more easily entrenched and riskier behavior is encouraged. This is because when adversaries or competitors see strategic interests at stake, they are more willing to suffer short term costs which leads to a higher chance of escalation. More simply put, when conflicts are linked, their long-term strategic value rises, which increases the tolerance for short term costs. Further, the more linked these issues become, the less able a negotiated approach will work without removing the underlying linkage conceptually.
However, this must be viewed in the light that there is a tendency to characterize China’s actions as wholly strategic and indicative of an overarching plan or a newfound assertiveness rather than as tactical and reactive. For example, the recent passage of a Chinese submarine and four Chinese naval vessels near the islands can be seen as a strategic move aimed at improving China’s blue water navy capabilities and contesting perceived US containment; it can also be viewed as a wholly reactive measure aimed at warning Japan over the failure to create a crisis resolution mechanism including the islands. That doesn’t mean strategic explanations aren’t valid, but they shouldn’t be considered completely satisfying explanations of behavior either.
As for the US, they are in a delicate position due to a confluence of factors. Diplomatically, the US cannot take a stand on the ownership of the islands without causing a rift between Japan and Taiwan or further straining its relations with China. Moreover, the US to must urge Japan and Taiwan not to take provocative action. This includes sending civilian protesters to the islands, unilateral acts which change the status of the dispute, or direct challenges to Chinese vessels. Actions of this nature risk drawing the US into conflict with China or driving a wedge between Taiwan and Japan. Further complicating matters, the US needs to maintain a military presence near the islands due to the importance of the Miyako Strait, which if blocked would significantly delay the deployment of US naval assets in the event of a conflict. Therefore, the US cannot let challenges for control of the Pinnacle Islands go unchecked nor can it encourage escalation.
This calculus is reflected in the current US position where it has affirmed its obligations to defend the Pinnacle Islands from force in accordance with Article 5 of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between Japan and the United States of America. The language in the treaty is clear: US defense obligations include territories under the ‘administration of Japan’. This stance was acknowledged during the Obama administration and has been further reaffirmed by the current Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. Furthermore, under the Treaty Between Japan and the United States of America Concerning the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Islands, which reverted control of these areas to Japan, the US acknowledges that it transferred administrative control of the Pinnacle Islands though the treaty did not make any determination on sovereignty.
In regards to Taiwan’s position, it has been able to manage the dispute relatively well because of its positive relationship with Japan. Much progress has been made on the issue due the strong alliance ties between the two countries and Japan’s fears of coordinated action by Taiwan and China. Taiwan’s approach has led to a fishing agreement, The Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement, which has eased tensions over the islands. Additionally, Ma Ying-Jeou’s East China Sea Peace Initiative attempted to position Taiwan as a ‘semi-neutral’ third party that can help negotiate the dispute. The initiative proposed that the dispute be moved towards negotiations through agreements on resource sharing and common codes of conduct. Although this position has gained little traction, it does highlight that Taiwan is concerned about getting drawn into a broader conflict over the issue. Moreover, a ‘semi-neutral’ stance maintains Taiwan’s economic relationship with Beijing, while strengthening its following strategy vis-a-vis the US. Additionally, it satisfies Taiwan’s need to be seen as a responsible ‘normal’ state in the international community.
The US and Taiwan share similar concerns about their security policy in the East China Sea being dictated by Japan or China. The risk is real as the dispute is more likely to horizontally escalate rather than vertically escalate. Horizontal escalation is the widening of a conflict, either through non-military means such as diplomacy or economics, or through drawing in more participants. Horizontal escalation is more of an issue in the Pinnacle Islands dispute because the area around the islands is target rich due to the large volume of commercial traffic, the number of regional players involved, US force posture in the area, the proximity of Taiwan, and the open terrain. This is part of the reason why the dispute has widened and entrenched, rather than simply led to a standoff situation as in the Koreas. This enables more players to change the dynamic of the dispute, further complicating resolution efforts.
Some say that the close economic and cultural ties in the region act as a strong constraint on escalation, however, the effect of economic interdependence as a constraint on military conflict is not constant, nor necessarily strong and can be eclipsed by outside factors. For example, trade asymmetry, the type of trade, number of alternative trade arrangements, future expectation of trade (a trade war would remove these expectations), and the international outlook of the country (revisionist or status quo seeking) all vary the effect of trade on conflict. A 2012 study by James Masterson entitled “Analyzing China’s economic interdependence and political relations with its neighbors,” found that while increased trade between China and other nations decreased the likelihood of conflict, that factor was not as strong as relative power capabilities. Moreover, trade empowers certain domestic groups to prevent conflict, this may perversely undermine the ability of either country to signal resolution in a crisis thereby increasing the chances of conflict. It should be conceded however, that due to the asymmetric economic relationship between China and Taiwan, Taiwan’s actions in the dispute are constrained by economics.
THE HIGH RISK FOR ESCALATION IN THE EAST CHINA SEA
The strongest risk for escalation comes from continued (and increased) Chinese naval patrols and fighter jet patrols (see figures 1,2, and 3) especially given the overlapping ADIZ’s (Air Defense Identification Zones), EEZ’s (Exclusive Economic Zones), and lack of communication. Although, past Japanese actions in the dispute have not been particularly sensitive or politically smart, the continued use of Chinese military policy to improve its bargaining position in territorial disputes creates the greatest risk for accidental escalation. Moreover, China’s ‘legal warfare’ which led to the unilateral declaration of an ADIZ that infringed on South Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese airspace, may improve the amount of pressure China can exercise when bargaining, but it does not improve the legitimacy of its claims nor does it create a process for resolution.
The increasing numbers of air interceptions and naval interceptions around the territory, give a sense that even with well worked out rules of engagement, crisis communications, and mil-to-mil communication the chance for a confrontation is high. To get a sense of these incidents, look at figure 1 and 2 taken from Japan’s 2017 defense white paper. Assuming the independent probability of a military incident which leads to fatality, injury, or damage is small, the likelihood over time of an incident is still high because of the high number of incursions. To use a thought exercise to demonstrate, assuming only a point one percent (0.1%) chance of an military encounter or incursion leading to an injury, with roughly 400 intercepts of Chinese jets in the air and a high number at sea (see figure 3), there should be at least one military incident every three years. These odds would only get higher after a political miscalculation. Assuming that an incident will produce escalatory behavior, the chances of a crisis are similarly high. It can be argued that political will and diplomacy can reduce the possibility of crisis regardless, but because of national sentiment, that likely will not be the case.
Emotional and national attachment are a large part of what is driving risky policies over the dispute and although some protests have been manufactured, the negative sentiment between China and Japan is real. According to the Pew Research Center, the change in negative opinions of Japanese citizens towards China moved from 71% in 2006 to 86% in 2016, while Chinese citizen’s negative opinions of Japan moved from 70% in 2006 to 81% in 2016. Moreover, when looking at Japanese concerns over territorial disputes as a whole 80% were somewhat or very concerned, while 59% of Chinese felt similarly. What is concerning is that by using military policies to enhance its bargaining position, China risks inflaming already highly negative attitudes. Besides, military policy when used to conduct bilateral diplomacy runs a greater risk of aggravating a dispute because of the difficulty in denying culpability, the necessity of confronting force with force, and the military’s role as a national symbol. Neither countries leaders’ wants a serious escalation, but the risk is that accident will inflame publics primed with negative opinions, entrench poor bilateral relations further, and narrow the set of policy responses for both leaders.
RETRENCHMENT AND ANTAGONISM
Any incident will be problematic in several ways: it would risk horizontal escalation due to issue linkage, test US alliance commitments and credibility, fray Japanese-Taiwanese ties, and damage China’s reputation leading to regional balancing and antagonism. The first issue is that due to wide number of disputes between Japan and China in the East China Sea, the involvement of the US, and the interconnected nature of China’s territorial disputes, it will be difficult to keep tensions contained. The second issue is that US alliance commitments will be tested in any military incident between China and Japan. If the US stands by its security commitments, it could send a signal to the Taiwanese public that the US is not truly neutral on the question of sovereignty over the islands. The impact of the US backing up Japanese territorial claims through force, while theoretically accepted now, may be less appealing in practice. Although US action may not cause a serious wedge in the Taiwanese-Japanese relationship, it could certainly lead to tensions.
Finally, an incident or further escalation would harm China’s reputation and lead to a regional antagonism and military spending. China’s naval buildup is beginning to look more and more analogous to Germany pre-1914, which suggests a more assertive foreign policy and some level of dissatisfaction with the current status quo. The cost for the buildup is enormous, it offends and threatens neighbors, and looks unlikely to deter the US or any other regional power. It also creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where China’s fears of encirclement and its desire to break out, cause it to become encircled. A military incident in the East China Sea directly involves China’s naval ambitions and will only further serve to harden negative attitudes among its neighbors, leading to more antagonistic and adversarial relationships.
PRECURSOR TO REAL CONFLICT AND SERIOUS ESCALATION
If the issues underlying the dispute were merely about sharing resources or fishing rights, the solution would be to simply negotiate a better agreement. Pre-2010 this is how the dispute was handled, creating little tension. However, as the dispute became nationalized, emotionally driven, and strategically linked, it began to escalate. Unfortunately, without an outlet for negotiation or the recognition of a legal process to determine claims, the means to negotiate a solution has disappeared. In Japan’s eyes, the dispute does not exist and any recognition that there is a dispute recognizes that other claimants have a legitimate position. China wants at minimum for its claims to be recognized. However, China’s actions in the South China Sea where it has made sweeping claims while denying evidence from international legal bodies on the strength of those claims, makes other countries skeptical that China would acquit itself fairly in the Pinnacle Islands dispute. The issue is deadlocked and cannot be negotiated directly, so rather than compromise, pressure and resistance are the only two avenues left. Without an avenue for compromise, the dispute is in the dangerous position where the claimant’s goals are linked to ‘winning’ without negotiation.
The possibility of a military or political incident over the islands without an avenue for negotiation, will be a repeat of escalations over the dispute in 2010 and 2012 on steroids. While other countries, particularly Taiwan, will want to urge moderation, domestic audiences in China and Japan will not be so clear headed. This sets the stage for more attempts to ‘resolve’ the dispute through military means instead of diplomatic or legal arbitration. Attempts to delay the issue further may succeed, but will again only set the stage for more confrontation in the future, while creating a new status quo where the risk of further military incident or confrontation is likely.
Analyses of policy issues tend to conclude with or naturally suggest policy options, I think that may be the wrong approach here. Unless a piece is advocating for policy action from a specific side to a specific person with specific responsibilities, any suggestion made will be so broad as to be useless. Therefore recommendations to de-militarize the dispute, increase dialogue, and improve crisis resolution mechanisms are useful but unworkable because of the broad array of factors, specific personalities, and bureaucracies involved. However, attempts to ‘freeze’ the dispute will only make it more intractable because of poor managing strategies and weak constraints. Doing nothing or delaying a solution will create an even greater obstacle to future compromise.
The illusion of a managed status quo, is just that an illusion. China is using military pressure to gain advantage in the dispute and Japan is rising to resist that pressure. The situation is similar to that of boiling a frog; the slow escalation of the dispute seems to blind many to what is clearly a pattern of escalation. No demonstration of force is going to create common ground. By using pressure without an avenue for trying to resolve the dispute, there is a tacit acknowledgment that neither side is looking to negotiate, only to continue on the same of path of pressure. What is positive is that none of the leaders involved appear cavalier regarding the danger this situation presents. What is not, is that they seem committed to pursuing the same fundamental policies and narratives driving antagonism. By delaying a solution to the dispute, Japanese and Chinese leaders harden their positions to the point where a new crisis in the East China Sea may just lead to a serious fracture. Therefore it is imperative that both countries can agree on a rules based mechanism, either through arbitration or negotiation, which will give both sides a path to resolve the dispute without resorting to force or pressure.
 A zone 24 nautical miles (44 kilometers or 27.3 miles) from the baselines (low water lines) where a country can enforce fiscal, customs, immigration, emigration, or sanitary laws.
 Zeng Xianghong and Li Hongzhou, “Status Anxiety and Historical Oppression: Policy Differences in Japan’s Policies to Disputed Islands and Related Implications,” Journal of Contemporary Asia-Pacific Studies Vol. 2, 2017, pp. 76-113.
 Jiang Huai, “Looking at China’s naval freedom of navigation problem in the Miyako Strait,” World Knowledge. 【江淮, “从宫古海峡看中国军舰的航行自由问题”, 世界知识】
 Zhou Yong and Ou-Yang Hui, “Japan’s increasing military strength is strengthening its strategic posture towards China,” Chinese Trade Journal, July 2016. 【周勇和欧阳辉, “军事实力让人刮目的日本加强对话战略布局,”经贸导刊】
 The ‘island chain containment strategy’ is a maritime containment strategy that many Chinese thinkers believe the US is using to contain China’s naval ambitions. It consists of three island chains, the first centered on major islands in the East and South China Seas, the second in the Pacific and Oceana, and the third farther out around Hawaii.
 An important part of the ‘first island chain’.
 Toshi Yoshihara, “Chinese Maritime Geography,” Strategy in Asia: The Past, Present, and Future of Regional Security.
 For China’s territorial disputes, this means two things: China uses conflict to unify those within the country in times of domestic weakness and to show political or military strength to dissuade foreign interference.
 Factors directly linked to the effect, rather than indirectly linked. Also known as direct factors.
 This refers to the discredited idea used by the US to justify its involvement in Vietnam. The ‘Domino Theory’ stated that should Vietnam fall to Communism, other countries in the region would soon fall after. This ignored the unique situation, culture, and politics of each nation in the region by typecasting them each as ‘dominos’.
 This assumes that the actor believes these costs can be contained and they can weigh the short-term costs against the strategic costs when taking action.
 Tactical refers to the techniques used to satisfy short term goals.
 The Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement (https://www.mofa.gov.tw/Upload/WebArchive/979/The%20Taiwan-Japan%20Fisheries%20Agreement%20(illustrated%20pamphlet).PDF)
 Vertical escalation is an increase in the amount of force used in a conflict. An example would be moving from using guns in a conflict to using bombs to using nuclear weapons.
 For example, the Doklam dispute between China and India would be an area where vertical escalation is more likely because fighting is constricted by mountains and is difficult to operate in. However, where there is open physical terrain, more regional players, and a simpler operational environment the risk of horizontal escalation is higher. This is in part because a more open area presents a target rich environment, while a closed area is target poor so options are more limited.
 Trade asymmetry can encourage more aggressive action by one partner because of the weaker position of the dependent partner.
 Consumer goods have a constraining effect while high technology has a weak effect.
 Elasticity of the trade arrangement will affect the level of constraint.
PARTIAL LIST OF SOURCES CONSULTED
Ben Dolven, Mark E. Manyin, and Shirley A. Kan, “Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Issues for Congress” Congressional Research Service, May 14, 2014. (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R42930.pdf)
Bert Chapman, “Geopolitical Implications of the Sino-Japanese East China Sea Dispute for the U.S.” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2017.
Daniel Connolly, “The Rise of the Chinese Navy: A Tirpitzian Perspective of Sea Power and International Relations,” Pacific Focus, Vol. 32, No. 2, August 2017, pp. 182-207.
East China Sea Peace Initiative- https://www.mofa.gov.tw/en/cp.aspx?n=A3C75D6CF8A0D021
Hyun Joo Cho and Ajin Choi, “Why do Territorial Disputes Escalate? A Domestic Political Explanation for the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute” Pacific Focus, Vol. 31, No. 2, August 2016, pp. 254-282.
International Crisis Group, “East China Sea: Preventing Clashes from Becoming Crises” Asia Report No. 280, June 30, 2016. (https://d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/280-east-china-sea-preventing-clashes-from-becoming-crises.pdf)
Japan’s 2017 Defense White Paper (Defense of Japan 2017) -http://www.mod.go.jp/e/publ/w_paper/2017.html
Japan-China Joint Press Statement- Cooperation between Japan and China in the East China Sea - http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000091726.pdf
Jiang Huai, “Looking at China’s naval freedom of navigation problem in the Miyako Strait,” World Knowledge. 【江淮, “从宫古海峡看中国军舰的航行自由问题”, 世界知识】
Joel Einstein, “Economic Interdependence and Conflict – The Case of the US and China” E-International Relations, January 17, 2017. (http://www.e-ir.info/2017/01/17/economic-interdependence-and-conflict-the-case-of-the-us-and-china/)
Michael Beckley, “The Emerging Military Balance in East Asia – How China’s Neighbors Can Check Chinese Naval Expansion” International Security Vol. 42, No. 2, Fall 2017. (https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/ISEC_a_00294)
Mohd Aminul Karim, “Is China Destined to Play High-politics in East Asia?” Japanese Journal of Political Science Vol. 17, No. 4, pp.545-567.
Robert D. Eldridge, “Opinion: Japan Needs a Policy for the Senkakus” Japan Forward, March 19, 2017. (http://japan-forward.com/opinion-japan-needs-a-policy-for-the-senkakus/)
Thomas G. Mahnken and Dan Blumenthal eds., Strategy in Asia: The Past, Present, and Future of Regional Security. Stanford University Press: Stanford, 2014.
Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between Japan and the United States of America -http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/q&a/ref/1.html
Zeng Xianghong and Li Hongzhou, “Status Anxiety and Historical Oppression: Policy Differences in Japan’s Policies to Disputed Islands and Related Implications,” Journal of Contemporary Asia-Pacific Studies Vol. 2, 2017, pp. 76-113.
Zhou Yong and Ou-Yang Hui, “Japan’s increasing military strength is strengthening its strategic posture towards China,” Chinese Trade Journal, July 2016. 【周勇和欧阳辉, “军事实力让人刮目的日本加强对话战略布局,”经贸导刊】