A Changing East Asia

Over the past 20 years, “East Asia” no longer represents the region containing China, Japan, and the Korean peninsula. The term now covers a wider geographical area, taking in more peoples and more cultures. In the following four essays, we look into the important trends in the region.

Conflicts and Disputes over Maritime Interests in East Asian Seas: The Role of Maritime Law Enforcement AgenciesTsuruta Jun

Maritime conflicts and disputes are on the rise in East Asia, reflecting the lingering territorial disputes in the region. The maritime law enforcement agencies of each country face the dilemma of enforcing their domestic laws without inflaming an already volatile situation. Tsuruta Jun, a professor of international law at the Japan Coast Guard Academy, analyzes the current state of affairs and offers his recommendations.

Prospects for Change on the Korean PeninsulaNishino Jun’ya

North Korea’s new supreme leader has delighted the global media with enthusiasm for theme parks and Disney characters, but his enthusiasm for genuine reform and détente are harder to gauge. Nishino Jun’ya of Keiō University assesses the prospects for real progress on the Korean Peninsula, focusing on the foreign policies outlined by South Korea’s three major presidential candidates.

ASEAN’s Positive Record and Ambitious PlansYamakage Susumu

The July 2012 meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers became deadlocked over the South China Sea issue, and for the first time ever a joint communiqué was not issued. Yamakage Susumu, a professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, considers the issues this Southeast Asian group faces and the role Japan should play in the region.

Shifting Definitions of “East Asia” and Regional CooperationMiyagi Taizō

East Asia is a diverse area encompassing the ASEAN members as well as Japan and its Northeast Asian neighbors, China and Korea. Asia specialist Miyagi Taizō examines the history of cooperation in the region and the issues it now faces.

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