Five commentaries touching on Japan’s role in the Indo-Pacific, including its territorial dispute with China:
- “Even I can see the opportunity that Japan has to become a national security superpower,” writes Brad Glosserman. A what? Yes, you heard that right, from the pen of the author of “Peak Japan.” Making that opportunity count, he says, rests on three pillars.
- The Quad grouping may emerge as the most significant by-product of international politics amid the pandemic, argues Yoichi Funabashi. Peace in Asia may hinge upon devising the perfect answer to an age-old question, tweaked for 2021: Quad vadis? (whither the Quad?)
- China is deploying its coast guard and the nation’s private fishing fleet in a high-tech guerrilla war to effectively take control of vast tracts of ocean, warns Chisako T. Masuo, and Japan must work with the international community to counter this threat.
- The U.S. policy of neutrality on the sovereignty of the Japan-held Senkaku Islands is a recipe for miscalculation by China, which has become emboldened over the past 50 years by American ambiguity on the issue, argues Robert D. Eldridge.
- As the China Coast Guard ramps up provocations around the Senkakus, Japan needs to increase the options available for maritime protection, writes Shin Oya. Beijing’s “gray zone” activities, he says, demand a strategic response from Tokyo.