Repeated Territorial Disputes Are a Normal State of International Politics

(This article is one of the Mr. Ito’s series of columns; He is a contributing author to The Liberty Magazine.)

International politics cannot escape the balance of power. America’s decline, China’s rise, North Korea’s nuclear armament. Japan’s position is certainly leaning unfavorably. How should Japan independently interpret the international situation in order to create a new power balance?

Repeated territorial disputes are a normal state of international politics

Kan Ito

Born in 1953, Kan Ito is an international political analyst. He graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tokyo and studied American political history and international relations at Cornell University before working as an international politics and financial analyst at a business consultancy firm. His works include Chugoku no Kakusenryoku ni Nihon ha Kuppuku suru [Japan’s Submission to China’s Nuclear Capability], published by Shogakukan, and Jimetsu suru Amerika Teikoku [The Self-destruction of the American Empire], published by Bunshun Shinsho.

──Japan’s territorial disputes with the three countries of China, South Korea and Russia are intensifying.

The international composition of the 21st century is steadily becoming multi-polarised. Actually, in a multipolar world, it’s natural for territorial disputes to occur so often. In the multipolar world that existed continuously from the 16th century until 1945, 5 or 6 major powers constantly competed again and again to expand their spheres of influence and had territorial disputes. Between 1947 and 1989 world politics enjoyed a high level of stability during the bipolar era of American and Soviet supremacy, but that kind of fixed international composition in and of itself was an exceptional scenario.

It may sound slightly harsh, but one can say that Japan’s recent troubles with regard to territorial disputes with neighbouring countries are a return to normal international politics under multi-polarity. Of the territorial disputes with the three countries China, South Korea and Russia, it is the dispute with China that especially concerns me.

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Repeated Territorial Disputes Are a Normal State of International Politics
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