Seminar: The Korean-Japanese Security Relationship and the Dokdo/Takeshima Islets Dispute


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Brown Bag Seminar by Krista Wiegand

When: Mar 27 2013 - 12:00pm until Mar 27 2013 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room #3012, East-West Center

In June 2012, South Korea and Japan came very close to signing the GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement), a bilateral security agreement, which was planned to balance against mutual security threats: China’s rise in power and North Korea’s missile testing and nuclear status. Yet the South Korean government halted the signing of the agreement due to domestic opposition against Japan. Of the disputed issues with Japan, the Dokdo/Takeshima islets territorial dispute is a particularly salient issue that has emerged in the past few years at the forefront of antagonistic Korean-Japanese bilateral relations.

Krista Wiegand will examine the role of the Dokdo/Takeshima territorial dispute as a barrier to much needed bilateral and trilateral security agreements with Japan and the U.S. Essentially, the highly symbolic nature of the dispute and related territorial nationalism about Dokdo/Takeshima leads to domestic accountability for Korean leaders, which strongly impedes South Korean foreign policies related to Japan. Because of the high level of nationalism regarding Dokdo/Takeshima among the domestic populace, South Korean politicians have been unable or unwilling to oppose domestic public opinion regarding relations with Japan, even to the point that strategic decisions are negatively affected. The intractable nature of territorial nationalism about Dokdo/Takeshima means that Korean-Japanese relations will likely continue to be soured for years to come.

Krista E. Wiegand (Ph.D. Duke University) is a POSCO Visiting Fellow at EWC. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Georgia Southern University. She has published two books: Bombs and Ballots: Governance by Islamic Terrorist and Guerrilla Groups and Enduring Territorial Disputes: Strategies of Bargaining, Coercive Diplomacy, and Settlement and several journal articles about territorial disputes in Asia and elsewhere.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Cynthia Wasa Nakachi
Phone: (808) 944-7439
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