Session 14

Economics, Security, and Leadership: Northeast Asian Integration in the Post-Cold War Era 
Organizer/Chair: Dr. Campbell, Joel R., Kansai Gaidai University 
 
In an age of globalization and a rapidly shifting security environment, Northeast Asia faces many political and economic challenges. Can the region get beyond the confrontational geopolitics and competitive economic policies that shaped the region throughout most of the Cold War era? What will the region look like in twenty to thirty years, and which nations will emerge as regional leaders? This panel explores the complex mix of security, economic and leadership issues that shape the current international relations of the region, with special attention to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. China is also a looming presence for all of the papers, and major powers outside the region such as the U.S. and Russia maintain their presence in the area. 

This panel will analyze the tremendous changes occasioned by globalization that are altering the security environment of East Asia. Campbell, as chair, will begin the session by stimulating a brief discussion on an important topical theme relating to the changing Asian security environment. Campbell will then overview major changes in the Japan’s foreign policy, especially as it changed to a new generation of leaders. Hong will assess the changing nature of integration efforts in Northeast Asia, focusing on possible joint Japanese-Korean projects. Mulloy will consider how Japan is using soft power in its relations with Asian countries. Chang will examine attempts by Taiwan to broaden its concepts of security and approach to foreign relations. As discussant, Keum will critique the papers in light of the themes introduced in the opening discussion. 


 1)  Joel R. Campbell, Kansai Gaidai University 
Koizumi to Aso: Continuity and Change in Japanese Political Leadership 
 
The Japanese political system faces an increasingly difficult domestic and international environment, and its political economic options are ever more constrained. The political system has yet to adjust to a multi-dimensional complex of paradoxes generated by the transition to a globalized world economy. Still hoping to muddle through with policies that worked well during the era of high growth, the conservatives that still determine economic and international policy are committed to an incremental reform process. This paper examines the ongoing Japanese political economic transition from the standpoint of economic globalization. It suggests that structural adjustment will eventually necessitate major political changes. It also advances a new theoretical construct for examining endemic gridlock in the Japanese system. Called punctuated stasis, it sees gridlock as a fundamental feature of both political culture and institutional arrangements. Reform movements and assertive leadership are not only rare, but politically unacceptable, and repugnant to most elite factions. 

The paper will consider the specific cases of Prime Ministers Koizumi to Aso, and examine the reasons for their success or failure. It will also present issue areas on which Japanese governments have been most likely to advance its foreign policy agenda. Finally, it will suggest possible future directions in which the Japanese political system will evolve over the next twenty years. 

 
2) Hong Jeong-pyo, Miyazaki International College 
Is a United States of Northeast Asia Possible?  The Korea-Japan Submarine Tunnel Project 

This study is intended to describe the historical relations and background of relations of the three Northeast Asian nations and to diagnose the present situation, and to forecast policy and vision for economic integration for “Peace and Development” in the Northern East Asia. Many observers feel that it is vital to formulate a plan for “Peace and Development” in the region. An Asian Common Community may take root in the Northeast Asia. 

As a catalyst for integration among Japan, Korea, and China, a Korean-Japanese submarine tunnel project has been discussed in academic and business associations. The primary purpose of this paper is to examine the possibility of construction of Korean-Japanese submarine tunnel and how this will affect economic integration in the region. 

First, this paper will examined theories explaining the advent of ASEAN+3. Second, it will look at historical experiments toward Northeast Asian integration. Third, it will consider the current situation of economic cooperation between Korea and China, including a Sino-Korean submarine tunnel project suggested by South Korea, with much preparatory work already completed by Japan. The Korean-Japanese tunnel would pass through Tsushima, which is 50 km. from Korea, and 100 km. from Fukuoka of Japan. Fourth, it will present the 2002 Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup, co-hosted by Korea and Japan, as a model of effective cooperation. Fifth, an idea for a Tsushima free trade zone has also been suggested from Koran side. Finally, the paper will look at the possibility of economic integration among China, Japan, and Korea. 

I will use a qualitative procedure (including observations, documents, and visual materials), combine quantitative designs (interviews and questionnaires if necessary), and compare existing theories. 

3)  Garren Mulloy, Daito Bunka University 
Softer Power' and Japan's security in a shifting East Asian political economic environment 

As the consequences of the financial turmoil in autumn 2008 become clearer, the combination of a significant shift in US domestic politics, and the serious erosion of US economic and military power through poor management and judgment, will have significant implications for Japan’s position within East Asia’s political economic environment. With a dominant US ally seemingly less dependable in terms of market demand and the “hard power’ buttress for Japan’s major security concerns of North Korea and China, there is an opportunity born of expedience for Japan to utilize its skills as a “soft” or “softer” power East Asian player. This “new” policy can be based upon more than three decades of foundation work conducted by public, semi-public, and private bodies at many levels, with many of the regional political economy actors of East Asia. Utilizing public and private relationships established through ODA, commerce, and limited security cooperation, Japan’s new “softer power” engagement has the potential to be a low cost “win-win” strategy in a new regional environment. 

 4) Ching-Chang Chen, University of Wales, Aberystwyth 
From Trouble Maker to Peace Builder? Taiwan’s Evolving Security Strategy under the Ma Ying-jeou Administration and Its Implications for East Asia 

This paper has three purposes: to trace the ongoing transformation of Taiwan’s security policy following the power transfer from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to the status quo-oriented Kuomintang (KMT) in May 2008, to examine the debate between the proponents and critics of such a transformation, and to consider the implications of Taipei’s new strategic paradigm for regional security as well as the obstacles to its continuation. The shift of the focus from becoming a ‘normal nation’ to the ‘no unification, no independence, and no use of force’ dictum since the inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou is embodied in Taipei’s call for a ‘diplomatic truce’ with Beijing (in which both Taiwan and China should stop their ‘chequebook diplomacy’, that is, wooing each other’s diplomatic allies through bribery), the normalisation of economic exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, and the so-called ‘SMART’ approach to national security (the S in SMART stands for soft power, M for military preparedness, A for assuring the status quo, R for restoring mutual trust, and T for Taiwan). While the existing debate is preoccupied with whether the Ma administration has been giving in too much to China at the expenses of Taiwan’s interests, this paper argues that the greatest significance of the evolution of Taiwan’s security strategy lies in the (near) completion of a complex web of strategic hedging among major East Asian countries since the mid-2000s to cope with the uncertainties associated with China’s rise. Moving away from its previous ineffective balancing, Taipei has begun to pursue a policy of enmeshing China discursively in non-use of force rhetoric, as well as economically and institutionally; sustaining the interest of other states in the regional security order (Japan in particular); and maintaining substantial security ties with the US (Washington’s approval of a $6.5 billion package of military equipment for Taiwan in October 2008 can be understood in this light). Nevertheless, the new hedging policy remains unstable so long as the construction of the Taiwanese self (of which the island’s foreign and security policy is a part) continues to use China as a convenient Other.

Discussant: TBA