Past eventResearch Event

Japan's Maritime Disputes: Contested History and Geopolitical Realities

12 June 2014 - 13:00 to 14:00

Chatham House, London


Thomas Berger, Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Boston
Chair: John Swenson-Wright, Head, Asia Programme, Chatham House



The speaker will discuss changing strategic and military challenges in East Asia. He will argue that while Japan increasingly finds itself at the frontline of these challenges - with an unstable, nuclear-armed North Korea on its doorstep and an increasingly powerful and assertive China challenging it for control of the East China Seas – the attitudes that inform Japanese defence politics, as well as the attitudes of its neighbours, remain distressingly familiar. He will argue that a combination of old images and a new strategic environment is placing Japanese foreign relations, and its alliance with the United States, under intense pressure. He will review these developments and suggest how US and Japanese policies may need to change if strategic equilibrium in East Asia is to be maintained.

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