With China's expanding presence in the Asia-Pacific region and the intensifying territorial dispute in the East China Sea, the security dilemma between China and Japan has become extremely complicated.

The security dilemma is a condition in which states' attempts to increase their own security, out of the mutual fear and suspicion, result in a decrease in security for all. For China and Japan, the current situation is particularly the case.

Both perceive more and more threats from the other side, while their overactive responses are causing a strong sense of insecurity for each other. The vicious circle is driving the two powers to engage in an escalating arms race.