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Title: Domestic politics fuels Northeast Asian maritime disputes 
Author: Valencia, Mark J.
Date: 2000
Publisher: Honolulu: East-West Center
Abstract: In recent years Japan has been embroiled in heated disputes with Russia, South Korea, and China over several small islands to its north and in the Japan and East China Seas. These islands and rocks may hold considerable value as base points for generating claims to Exclusive Economic Zones containing fish, oil, and gas. Yet these disputes are about more than economic resources: the tiny features have become powerful symbols of nationalist pride and politics. This has perpetuated the disputes at great expense to the countries. The regional spread of democratization has only aggravated the difficulty of making international settlements, as politicians react to constituents' demands not to make territorial concessions and political factions harness the disputes to their own purposes. There is a real danger that the disputes could escalate and trigger conflict. Thus, a modus operandi must be devised to manage them. A first step would be the recognition by country leaders that they and their counterparts in rival claimant countries are constrained by the same domestic pressures.
Series/Report No.: AsiaPacific issues ; no. 43
Description: For more about the East-West Center, see
Pages/Duration: 8 pages
LC Subject Headings: Jurisdiction, Territorial - East Asia
Territorial waters - East Asia

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This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • AsiaPacific Issues [120]
    Papers in the AsiaPacific Issues series address topics of broad interest and significant impact relevant to current and emerging policy debates. These eight-page, peer-reviewed papers are accessible to readers outside the author's discipline.


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