SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

Approaches to Addressing the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island Dispute in the East China Sea

Reinhard Drifte
Professor Reinhard Drifte (Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University, Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, London)

Date: 16 February 2015Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 16 February 2015Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G3

Type of Event: Seminar


This seminar will provide a short overview of the Japan-China territorial problem since its genesis in 1970 and will draw some lessons on how to handle the issue in the future. The first step towards a reduction of tensions and the opening of negotiations has to be a Japanese admission that there is a `conflict`, and be reciprocated by a Chinese renunciation of sending regular coast guard ships into the territorial waters of the islands.

Based on this, both sides should find a new way of shelving the dispute. To facilitate the sustainability of such an agreement, both sides would have to reduce the political temperature and establish Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBM). Only then there might be a chance to address the sovereignty issue. This seminar will give some imaginative examples from contemporary international relations.


Reinhard Drifte is Emeritus Professor of Newcastle University (UK). Since his retirement he has been visiting professor at various Japanese and French universities.  His subject area is Japanese foreign policy, focusing currently on various aspects of Japan-China relations, including disputes in the East China Sea and the growing Chinese presence in Japan. Book publications include `Japan`s security relations with China since 1989` (Routledge 2002), `Japan's quest for a permanent Security Council seat. A Matter of Pride or Justice?` (Macmillan 1999) and 'Japan's Foreign Policy in the 1990s. From Economic Superpower to What Power? (Macmillan 1998 + 1996).

Organiser: SOAS China Institute

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