Competing sovereignties: increasing tensions over maritime border in Northeast Asia

Competing sovereignties: increasing tensions over maritime border in Northeast Asia
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2020. No 1(58). P. 63-77

DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2020-1-63-77

Mihoko Kato (Japan) is a Research fellow of National Institutes for the Humanities, Tokyo and a specially appointed assistant professor at the Slavic -Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University

Abstract. The article focuses on relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea and particularly on their dispute over the territorial sovereignty of the Takeshima/Dokdo islandsislands. This dispute has intensified since the late 1990s 1990s, after the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea came into force and the Northeast Asian countries started to seek delimit ation of their maritime boundaries. The author examines how the Takeshima/Dokdo issue has evolved in changing international conditions and in the context of the JapaneseJapanese-Korean bilateral relations through the lens of those common interests that connect the two countries. Since the late 1990s, Japan and the Republic of Korea have sought to form a mari maritim e order based on joint and peaceful use of marine resources by signing the 1998 fishery agreement. The t wo parties also signed a military military-intelligence agreement in 2015 for the sake of cooperation against the North Korean threat. However, neither of the two agreements ha has functioned properly due to escalation of the Japan –Republic of Korea row in the 2010s that expanded beyond the Takeshima/Dokdo dispute. The July 2019 air incident involving Chinese and Russian warplanes revealed that the unsettled maritime border issue ca n trigger competition for sovereignty not only over the islets and marine resources resources, but also over the airspace and the air defense identification zone , as there is no common legal basis for managing this domain domain.

Keywords: maritime border, sovereignty, common interests, Takeshima/Dokdo islands , air defense identification zone, Japan, Republic of Korea, North Korea, China, Russia, the United States

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For citation:
Kato M. Competing sovereignties: increasing tensions over maritime border in Northeast Asia. Pathways to Peace and Security, 2020, No 1(58), pp. 63-77.

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