Past eventResearch Event

Coping with Gray Zone Situations: Japan’s Strategy and Challenges

30 June 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Chatham House, London


Céline Pajon, Research Fellow, Center for Asian Studies, Institut Français des Relations Internationals (IFRI)
Chair: John Nilsson-Wright, Senior Research Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House



Growing Chinese maritime activities in the East China Sea are creating tensions labelled by Japan as ‘gray zone situations’ - challenges over sovereignty that do not amount to a full-scale armed attack. The speaker will argue that, except for North Korea’s nuclear activities, this is now the most important security issue facing Japan. Dealing with gray zone situations requires seamless management of law enforcement contingencies that might escalate into military conflicts. However, Japan's strict separation of civilian and military agencies is complicating the coordination of the Japan Coast Guard and the Maritime Self Defense Forces, and thus undermining Japan's deterrence posture.

This event is funded by the Nippon Foundation, and held in partnership with them and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.