Posted by: bklunk | September 22, 2006

A Foreign Policy Puzzle

Tokyo ups pressure on Pyongyang
Here is one from a-arikawa who is tracking Japanese foreign policy.

This is an ariticle written by Hisane Masaki who is tokyo-based journalist and scholar on international politics. This ariticle is about the financial sanction which Japan decided to do to North Korea. Since it is related to Nuclear weapons problem, it is important to cooperate with other country such as US or other United Nation countries and think a matter together. As North Korea speak out that they are newclear weapon state, and have possibility to do the bombing test, it is dangerous to do and continue financial sanction. I think we should avoid dangerous things. Thinking in the way of analysis, I think it might be good if we can use Hegemonic Stability Theory however it is really hard to choose 3rd country. Since it is not one-to-one country’s problem but worldwide one, we need to think about it. The U.S -Japan security policy is good for Japan but this makes the things more complicated because North Korea do not consider the US as a 3rd country. Therefore, I think we should think about more safety way for the world.

a-arikawa raises most of the important questions that we have addressed about foreign policy. What are Japan’s objectives here? What strategy and tactics is Japan employing? What capabilities are they using? However, hegemonic theory might not help us think about this situation. Perhaps China could act as a hegemon pushing/reassuring North Korea in the direction of more cooperative behavior, but it’s not yet clear that that is the case. What do others think?

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  1. Professor Klunk wrote that “perhaps China could act as a hegemon pushing/reassuring North Korea in the direction of more cooperative behavior, but it’s not yet clear that that is the case.” I would offer a few points of consideration in regards to this suggestion: China may have the most ifluence on North Korea but this is because of N. Korea’s material dependence on it. China is hesitant to put real pressure on its neighbor because of various reasons. Among these are that N. Korea is a strategic buffer against US influence on China’s border, and the thought that a regime collapse would send millions of N. Koreans flooding across the border. And yet, nothing good for China can come of a nuclear North Korea, and the Chinese made their opinions made clear to NK officals about their cheating on the Agreed Framework in January. But nuclear capability in NK could prompt Japan to move from merely developing missile defense capabilities to acquiring itself ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons. Taiwan might bandwagon on the nuclear train too if they see NK “guaranteeing its security” this way. On another thought, Beijing’s hesitation to muscle up on NK may be tactical, letting the US do the work, despite Pres. Bush’s plans, and then come in to close the deal and maximize its influence. Contrary to the artilce’s claims, although the U.S. has no stable diplomatic relationships with North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea are working along with China on the issue.

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