RELEASE EMBARGO DATE: MAY 1, 2013 AT 9 AM
Panel: Maritime Security (Grand BallroomⅠ)
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 / 14:00-15:15
Talking Points for: Kotani Tetsuo, The Japan Institute of International Affairs
1.Changing strategic balance
The growing Chinese maritime power is changing the military balance in Asia. The stability in Asia long rested on the strategic balance of power among the United States, Japan, Russia (the former Soviet Union), and China. The continental power of Russia and China dominated the Asian landmass and the maritime power of the United States and Japan secured freedom of navigation in the Asian littoral. Neither side could project sufficient conventional power into the realm of the other. However, China’s assertive behavior with robust A2/AD capabilities is penetrating the US-Japan naval supremacy in the Asian littoral.
2.Struggle over EEZs
Regional nations are struggling over EEZs in the South China Sea for energy and national security, and competing for land features in the international waters as EEZ base points. If the rise of tensions and territorial nationalism among claimant nations leads to an armed conflict, freedom of navigation in the critical sea lanes would be jeopardized. Also some regional countries restrict foreign military activities in their EEZs as part of anti-access strategy. In another words, these countries are territorializing EEZs. Since EEZs account for 40 % of world’s oceans, the territorialization of EEZ would undermine traditional maritime order and international security.
3.Rule-based order at sea
Freedom of the seas is community interests for the region. It is necessary to establish and maintain rule-based maritime order in Asia. The UN Charter and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide a good set of rules. Regional countries should respect freedom of the seas, resolve maritime disputes, and seek joint management and development of maritime resources.