02 March 2015

Harvard Weatherhead Seminar on “Sino-Japanese Crisis (In)Stability in the East China Sea,” Tues. 3 March 12:30-2:00 pm

Adam P. Liff and Andrew S. Erickson, “Sino-Japanese Crisis (In)Stability in the East China Sea,” to present in Special Series on International Relations of East Asia, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; co-sponsored by Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies; International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard University, 3 March 2015.

Click here to view the poster for the seminar.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 12:30pm to 2:00pm


Bowie-Vernon Room (K262), 2nd Floor, CGIS Knafel, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA
Open to the Public

Adam P. Liff
Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, and Assistant Professor, School of Global and International Studies (SGIS), Indiana University

Andrew S. Erickson
Associate Professor, U.S. Naval War College

Moderator: Susan Pharr
Edwin O. Reischauer Professor of Japanese Politics and Director, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University


Since September 2012, frictions between Beijing and Tokyo over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea have become unprecedentedly unstable. Both China’s military and paramilitary activity in the surrounding waters and airspace and Japan’s fighter jet scrambles have reached all-time highs. Recent public opinion polls in both countries record mutual antipathy at the highest level since leaders normalized bilateral diplomatic ties in the 1970s.

Under such volatile conditions, even an accident stemming from a low-level encounter could quickly escalate into a major crisis between the world’s second- and third-largest economies. This seminar will examine the strengths and weaknesses of China’s and Japan’s crisis management mechanisms and the implications of nascent national security councils in both countries for crisis (in)stability in the East China Sea. It will also examine the prospects for, and obstacles to, more effective crisis management in both countries.

Beyond its contemporary policy relevance, the discussion will also engage issues with important implications for Chinese and Japanese foreign policy decision-making and domestic political reforms, civil-military relations, and U.S. relations with both countries.

Related Project: International Security


ISP Program Coordinator
International Security Program, 79 John F. Kennedy St., Mailbox 53, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
HARVARD Kennedy School
Email: susan_lynch@hks.harvard.edu
Phone: 617-496-1981
Fax: 617-495-8963
Url: http://www.belfercenter.org/ISP/