Troubled seas: Japan's Pacific and East China Sea domains and claims

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In the two years since 2010, the Asia-Pacific region has been roiled by rival territorial claims and counterclaims to islands, islets, and rocks scattered across the East China Sea, Yellow Sea, the Japan Sea and the South China Sea. In 2012 alone, strong claims and counter-claims to insular territories have been made by Japan, China, and Taiwan (Senkakus/Diaoyu), Japan and South Korea (Dokdo/Takeshima), and China, the Philippines and Vietnam among others (South China Sea islets). These official claims, moreover, in many cases have been reinforced by nationalist statements and actions by citizens and groups, and by clashes on the high seas contesting territorial claims. In evoking military alliances, Japan has brought the US into the picture in relation to its claims to the Senkakus, while the US has positioned itself to intervene in the South China Seas clashes, setting up intensified US-China conflict. In a major examination of the Senkaku controversy, Gavan McCormack locates the issues within the broader terrain of the 1982 UNCLOS transformation of the Law of the Seas which has transformed a world of open seas into one in which the major colonial powers, notably the United States, Great Britain, France and Japan, receive huge bonanzas in terms of 200 nautical mile exclusive economic rights that flow from their colonial legacies, while China comes up short. The result is to raise fundamental questions about the premises of the UNCLOS order. Asia-Pacific Journal coordinator.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Memory and Reconciliation in East Asia
    Editors Mikyoung Kim
    Place of PublicationAbingdon and New York
    ISBN (Print)9780415835138
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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