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China and Japan: Troubled Waters

Asia: Beyond the Headlines
A Japanese Coast Guard boat passes by Uotsuri, the largest island in the Senkaku/Diaoyu chain, in October 2012. (Al Jazeera English/Flickr)

Maritime disputes in East Asia have surged to new heights, with the contested Senkaku/Diaoyu islands damaging relations between China and Japan, the region’s largest economies and traditional rivals. China's recent announcement of a contested air defense zone has provided a rallying point for political forces in Japan who support re-militarization. Nationalists on all sides have been drumming up outrage, creating mutual resentment between the citizens of both countries. For the United States, military obligations in Japan and a general reluctance to cede dominance in the Pacific mean the U.S. may be drawn into any conflict that arises. Increasingly, historical animosity is fueling the controversy as each side dredges up perceived slights and historical grievances as justification for their control over the region. As political and territorial tensions intensify, achieving a peaceful resolution between these powerful neighbors has become increasingly problematic.

Is war over these uninhabited islands really possible? What can be done to soothe tensions? What part will the United States continue to play? What are the implications for the rest of Asia?

Please join us at Asia Society for a "Beyond the Headlines" discussion that will tackle these difficult questions in an in-depth analysis of the current state of China-U.S.-Japan relations.


Daniel Blumenthal is the Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on East Asian security issues and Sino-American relations. He has both served in and advised the U.S. government on China issues for over a decade, including as a senior director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia at the Department of Defense.

Alan D. Romberg is distinguished fellow and the director of the East Asia program at the Stimson Center. He spent 27 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, including 20 as a Foreign Service Officer.  He also worked for ten years as the CV Starr Senior Fellow for Asian Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and was a special assistant to the Secretary of the Navy.

Jim Sciutto is the Chief National Security Correspondent at CNN. Previously, he had served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke. He is the recipient of several awards, including two Emmy Awards for his reporting in Iraq.

Orville Schell (moderator) is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S-China Relations at Asia Society. He is a former professor and Dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Schell is the author of 15 books, 10 of them about China.

Can't make it to this program? Tune in to AsiaSociety.org/Live at 6:30 pm ET for a free live video webcast. Viewers are encouraged to submit questions to [email protected] or tweet questions at #AskAsia.

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Event Details

Wed 26 Feb 2014
6:30pm - 8:00pm

725 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10021

Members: $10; Students/Seniors: $12; Nonmembers: $15
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