GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
The Future of Japan's Politico-Strategic Relations with the Gulf
Paper Proposal Text :
This paper will discuss Japan’s continuing relationship with the Gulf states as well as its newly emerging role in the Gulf region, with a special attention to the politico-security dimension. It will look at how Japan approached the politico-security issues of the region, such as Islamic terrorism, the Iranian nuclear development, insecurity in Iraq (especially the Iraq war of 2003 and afterwards), and anti-piracy cooperation and sea lane security in the area surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. In the first part, it will discuss the patterns of Japan’s approach and the extent and nature of its involvement in those issues. In the second part, the paper will explore the major factors which shape Japan’s approach, such as its relationship with the US and its own security concerns in East Asia, domestic constraints, motives and interests, as well as its concerns for security conditions in the Gulf. In doing so, the paper will argue that the primary drive for Japan’s involvement has been the relationship with the US and that its approach has been largely determined by its relative ability to balance between its ties with the US and those with the Gulf states. It will also look at the extent and the nature of its evolving relationship in the economic dimensions, in order to discuss the implication for and the impact on the overall Japan-Gulf relations of the development in the country’s politico-security relations with the Gulf. Based on this analysis of past patterns and their determinants, the paper will then extrapolate into the future to forecast the likely patterns of Japan’s involvement in the Gulf in the next decade.