South China Sea Perspectives: Japan

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    Japan is not a direct party to any of the disputes in the South China Sea. It does not have territorial claims in the area. Nor does it have any claim to an exclusive economic zone. Nonetheless, Japan does have vital interests in the area. As Yoichiro Sato, a Japanese defence expert at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, aptly explains, Japan is ‘an important stakeholder’ in the South China Sea.[1] This paper examines Japan’s perspective on the South China Sea across three dimensions. Firstly, it asks why the South China Sea is important to Japanese national interests. It then lays out Japan’s strategic objectives in the area. Finally, it considers the risks and uncertainties Japan faces in pursuing these objectives. While Japan is a significant stakeholder, the South China Sea disputes highlight Japan’s limitations, including self-imposed policy constraints and capability gaps, as well as the geopolitical and geoeconomic vulnerabilities it faces in the Indo-Pacific more widely.
    Original languageEnglish
    Commissioning bodyDepartment of Parliamentary Services - Parliament of Australia
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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