Dr Motohiro Tsuchiya, Dr Seiichiro Takagi, Dr Narushige Michishita, Mika Aaltola
Mikael Mattlin, Jyrki Kallio
Mika Aaltola, Bart Gaens
Mån 28.11.2011 kl. 10:00-14:30
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Kruunuvuorenkatu 4, 2nd Floor, Helsinki, Finland
East Asia has turned into a focal point of global politics in recent years. China’s enhanced influence, ASEAN’s efforts as a regional balancer, India’s as well as Russia’s increased involvement in Asian regional integration, and the newly growing US military presence are furthermore accentuated by Japan’s decline in relative power and the continually weak voice of the EU. Japan and the EU both have in common that they seek to increase their presence in East Asia, while addressing critical domestic concerns. A panel discussion on Japan’s regional security policy addresses the country’s strained relationship with a re-emerging China, the presence of North Korea as a security threat, and the Japanese response to cyber attacks. The afternoon seminar examines the EU’s ambitions for greater involvement in the region, with particular focus on EU-China relations.
Panel discussion: Japan in a changing regional security context (10:00-12:00)
Opening and Chair: Dr Bart Gaens, Researcher, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Speakers: Dr Seiichiro Takagi, Senior Associate Fellow, Japan Institute of International Affairs
Dr Narushige Michishita, Associate Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
Dr Motohiro Tsuchiya, Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance; Deputy Director, Global Security Research Institute, Keio Universit
Comments: Dr Mika Aaltola, Programme Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Seminar: EU-China relations (13:00-14:30)
Chair: Mr Jyrki Kallio, Researcher, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Speaker: Dr Jonathan Holslag, Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies BICCS
Comments: Ms Elina Kalkku (tbc), Director General, Department for the Americas and Asia, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Dr Mikael Mattlin, Researcher, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Summary of the seminar:
day event examined the central role that East Asia
holds in today’s multi polar world. The morning session dealt with Japan, and during the afternoon, the speakers analysed
Previously Japan used to
be in a central focus when looking at global developments. The rise of China, however, has placed Japan in the shadow. Nevertheless, Japan
is still a major power, and an important economic driver in the region.
Furthermore, the role of Japan
in security questions is significant and should not be forgotten.
session was chaired by Dr Bart Gaens. The first speaker, Dr Seiichiro Takagi,
gave his insights on the rise of China
response to this. China’s
rise has not gone unnoticed on the international field. This progression has
had both positive and negative implications. On the positive side, China’s
advancements in the economic domain, have helped to raise people out of poverty
and have created new markets for other countries’ foreign exports. Due to its
economic interests that spread worldwide, China has adopted a peaceful
foreign policy line. Nonetheless, its confidence, along with its defence
budget, has been growing with its power, and its behaviour has become more
aggressive in nature. How will these changes in the world’s biggest country
affect the rest of the globe?
China’s growing importance has recently
been highlighted as it has recovered very rapidly from the 2008 economic shock.
Also, the Obama administration has paid more attention towards the area, and
emphasised the importance of China.
This has further influenced China’s
confidence. However, the country is going through a major internal
metamorphosis that affects its political potential on a world scale. Its leaders
will be replaced with new ones in a year’s time, in fall 2012, and it is not
clear to any experts who will take over. There is a tug of war among the
leaders, with an unpredictable result between hard liners and soft liners.
Nonetheless, recent experiences have shown them that aggressive behaviour might
in fact damage Chinese national interests.
Japan’s take on the changing nature of
its grand neighbour has been malleable. Since the future of the developments in
remains an open question, it has seemed like the most rational choice not to
put all eggs in one basket. Japan
is prepared for different possible scenarios and is acting accordingly. The
most important of its strategies has been engaging more with other powers in
the area. By strengthening its relationship especially with Australia and New
Zealand, it has also been underlining its connection with
their close partner, the United
States. The rise of China has in the eyes of Japan also lifted the status of the second
biggest country and largest democracy in the world, India. The creation of a strong
cooperation network in East Asia is Japan’s key aim.
presenter, Narushige Michishita, gave a more targeted insight into a very
topical security concern in East Asia. He
analysed the situation of North
Korea from a Japanese point of view with a
special focus on its nuclear missile development.
As a close
neighbour, Japan naturally
has a special interest in following the developments in North Korea, and with the
assistance of intelligence information and satellites, it has very accurate
information on the military capabilities of the country. It is now clear that North Korea is developing nuclear weapons, and
is most likely able to also reach Japan with ballistic missiles.
Whether North Koreans are capable of loading their nuclear weapons on ballistic
missiles remains unclear, but probable. The missile tests that have been carried
out have been pointed exactly towards Tokyo, and
thus for Japan, the threat
posed by North Korea
is tangible. The worst case scenario would be that of Kim Jong-Il deciding that
he wants so desperately for his name to remain in history, that he would be
prepared to attack Japan,
even knowing that this would mean destruction for his country as a consequence.
response to the threat posed by North
Korea contains four different strategies.
These include the development of a ballistic missile deployment (BMD) system,
creating and strengthening civil defence systems, strengthening the connection
with the US in order to maintain and strengthen the extended nuclear deterrence
and, most importantly, diplomatic measures.
situation in North Korea has
important implications for Europe as well. North Korea has been exporting its missiles to
e.g. the EU’s backyard, Iran.
Thus, most likely, the EU will be following very closely what the future
developments in North Korea
are. In this matter, cooperation with Japan will be essential.
speaker of the morning, Dr Motohiro Tsuchiya, presented a less traditional and
very topical security threat, cyber attacks. This threat is of recent origin,
but has already materialised itself. For instance, a major cyber attack was
aimed against South Korea
and the US
in July 2009. Since these two countries are the closest de facto allies of Japan, this raised awareness of cyber threats in
In 2011, after the tsunami disaster in Japan, the government system was
affected by a customised computer virus. This further accentuated the
importance of preparation against cyber threats.
world, the cyber space covers all traditional spaces: outerspace, air, land and
sea. Communication between these spaces is vital for the performance of
basically all key functions around the globe. If the cyber world is attacked,
all of these are influenced. Cyber space is a difficult and elusive space to defend,
but simultaneously it is a relatively easy target for attacks. Programs like
Google Maps are very easy to use, but can also be very useful to for instance
important thing in preparing for cyber attacks is to bring together people who
are familiar with the cyber world, “geeks”, and decision makers, “suits”. This
has not been evident in the past, but needs to be considered as soon as
possible. The other communication channels Dr Tsuchiya emphasised were those
between the National Information Security Centre (NISC) which pays special
attention to cyber security issues and the intelligence agencies. He also
pointed out that laws need to be adapted to serve the needs of gathering new
types of intelligence that can stop cyber attacks. The secrecy of communication
in the Japanese constitution is partly hindering the stop of possible cyber
attacks. Finally, he made a note of the
fact that cyber terrorists will not try to stop the internet, something that is
often speculated. They themselves are so highly dependent on it, that this
would not serve their purposes.
for the morning session were made by Dr Mika Aaltola.
in the afternoon was chaired by Dr Jyrki Kallio and opened by Dr Jonathan
Holslag. He offered insights on EU-China economic relations. China is of increasing importance
to the EU and these two have been increasingly engaged with each other
economically. The strategic partnership is comprehensive and economically
beneficial. However, at the same time, the two parties have major differences
in their views on the nature of the relationship and on the rules guiding it.
The EU has
expected a growing normative convergence that would bring China towards the Western system of
global governance and the acceptance of human right norms as the Europeans see
in turn has an interests first approach. It wants to ensure its economic benefits
but also secure its relationship with the US. It also prefers to see a rupture
between the US
and the EU. Another divisive factor is that the EU wants to increasingly
include China in the global free
market system, but China
prefers its current import substitution system.
field everything has not gone according to plan in the EU. The economic
partnership with China
has not been as balanced as it was initially expected to become. The prospects
on the division of labour have not materialised and the balance of payments has
not been beneficial for the EU. The fields in which Europe has a comparative
advantage compared to China
are shrinking and China
is taking over leadership in many traditionally European industrial sectors.
The EU’s decision makers are thus struggling to predict China’s future moves and deciding
in which sectors to downscale and in which to keep producing. China is gaining jobs in
manufacturing, while the EU is losing them. China is overproducing goods and
the EU over consuming them. China
is mostly investing in the banking sector in the EU, but their investments have
been 10 times smaller than the investments of the EU to China. This is not likely to change
in the near future.
above examples show, it can be said that China and the EU are actually
mirror images of each other in major economic policies. China sticks to
its weak yuan, over half of its public spending goes towards infrastructure,
and most of its industries are state owned. The EU in turn is suffering from
its strong currency, its public spending goes towards welfare policies, and
thus growth concentrates in non-productive sectors.
different scenarios for the future of the China-EU economic relationship
varying from trade wars to a gradual opening of key Chinese sectors leading to
a more balanced situation. Dr Holslag’s view on the current situation and the
following developments was not a very positive one. He stated that Brussels is becoming more and more defensive in its
economic strategy towards China.
In turn, Chinese officials are losing their faith in the EU as a political
player and have given up on the External Action Service as a credible partner.
The social standards of the EU are considered unrealistic and irresponsible,
and Europe is no longer seen as a very
promising soil for new investments. Nonetheless, the EU still remains China’s
most important export market. This means that the Chinese will not give up on
cooperation, but most likely the nature of the collaboration will be under
comments to Dr Holslag’s presentation were given by Ms Elina Kalkku and Dr
Mikael Mattlin. Ms Kalkku underlined the importance of the strategic
partnership between China
and the EU and pointed out the major economic interdependency between the two.
Economic questions and security questions are growingly intertwined from the EU’s
point of view, but in Asia the EU’s role is mostly economic, it has no
relevance in the security policy dilemmas of China. Finally, she emphasised the
need for the EU to act in a more coherent way vis-à-vis China.