The Senkaku/Diaoyutai Incident One Year on: Islands Disputes and Maritime Strategy in Sino-Japanese Relations

Maritime issues in relation to disputed territorial boundaries are becoming a key theme in debates on regional security in East Asia. In the East China Sea, Sino-Japanese disputes over territorial ownership of the inhabited Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands matters strategically, economically and politically, because there is the potential to affect access and control of the sea and its resources, and shape the regional power balance. This would directly affect their ability to safeguard national economic interests and exert military influence in the region and beyond. However, the possession of these islands speaks to questions of national pride, historical sensitivity, and international status. This timely seminar explores how maritime territorial disputes are shaping Sino-Japanese relations, and the extent to which these issues are redefining the strategic relationship between the two countries and the United States. One year after the September 2010 collision between a Chinese fishing trawler and the Japan Coast Guard, Professor Buzan will bring perspectives of political and historical generalisation to Dr Patalano’s examination of the evolution of Sino-Japanese relations and assessment of the lasting impact of the incident on regional security.

The seminar will be chaired by Professor Chris Hughes.

About the contributors

Dr Alessio Patalano

Dr Alessio Patalano is Lecturer in War Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and specialises in East Asian security and Japanese naval history and strategy. He is also Research Associate at the King’s China Institute. Since 2006, he has been Visiting Lecturer in Naval Strategy and East Asian Security at the Italian Naval War College (ISMM), Venice. In Japan, Dr Patalano has been a Visiting Scholar at Aoyama Gakuin University and at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), both in Tokyo, and currently is Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan. Dr Patalano’s publications appeared in academic journals in English, Japanese and Italian language. His first book, Maritime Strategy and National Security in Japan and Britain from the First Alliance to Post- 9/11 (Brill/Global Oriental) is forthcoming in 2011, and he is currently completing a second book titled Reclaiming the Trident: Imperial Legacy and Japan’s Post-war Naval Power.

Professor Barry Buzan

Professor Barry Buzan is Montague Burton Professor in the Department of International relations at the London School of Economics, and honorary professor at Copenhagen and Jilin universities. From 1988 to 2002 Professor Buzan was Project Director at the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI). From 1995 to 2002 he was research professor of International Studies at the University of Westminster, and before that Professor of International Studies at the University of Warwick. During 1993 he was visiting professor at the International University of Japan, and in 1997-1998 he was Olof Palme Visiting Professor in Sweden. He has published and broadcast extensively in the field of international relations. His publications include: ‘China in International Society: Is ‘peaceful rise’ Possible?’ (The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 3 (1), pp. 5-36, 2010), and Acharya, Amitav and Buzan, Barry (eds.) Non-Western international relations theory: perspectives on and beyond Asia (Routledge, 2010).

Professor Chris Hughes

Professor Chris Hughes (Chair) is Professor of International Politics and Japanese Studies at Warwick University. Previously, he was Research Associate at the Institute for Peace Science, Hiroshima University (IPSHU). From 2000-2001 he was Visiting Associate Professor, and in 2006 he held the Asahi Shimbun Visiting Chair of Mass Media and Politics, both at the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo. He is an honorary Research Associate at IPSHU, and has been a Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and Visiting Scholar at the East Asia Institute, the Free University of Berlin. From 2009-2010 he was the Edwin O. Reischauer Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at the Department of Government, Harvard University. He is currently an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and President of the British Association of Japanese Studies. His research interests include Japanese foreign and security policy; Japanese international political economy; and regionalism in East Asia.