04 July 2015

朝日新聞 (Asahi Shimbun) Op-Ed: “日中間の危機管理–海空連絡メカニズム急げ” (Japan-China Crisis Management—Expedite an Air-Sea Contact Mechanism)

In an op-ed published today, Prof. Adam Liff and I argue that Tokyo and Beijing urgently need to establish, and to reliably implement, bilateral crisis management capabilities vis-à-vis the East China Sea. Hotline(s) could be of particular utility as a contact mechanism, but would only be as good as both sides’ commitment to actually using them in the event of a crisis. Our op-ed appears in Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second-largest newspaper with a daily circulation of over 10 million readers.

アダム・リフ、アンドリュー・エリクソン [Adam Liff and Andrew Erickson], “日中間の危機管理–海空連絡メカニズム急げ” [Japan-China Crisis Management—Expedite an Air-Sea Contact Mechanism],(私の視点)[Our Perspective (Op-Ed)], 朝日新聞 [Asahi Shimbun], 4 July 2015.

Click here to read the full text.


昨年11月、安倍晋三首相と中国の習近平(シーチンピン)国家主席が首脳会談をしてから冷え込んだ両国関係は改善され始めた。だが(両国の艦船や航空機で)混み合うこの海域と空域では計算違いや、緊張度の高くない遭遇が重大な危機にエスカレートするリスクがまだ高く、安心できない。… … …

For a longer, English-language version of the present argument, see Adam P. Liff and Andrew S. Erickson, “Japan-China Crisis Management–The Urgent Need for Air-Sea Contact Mechanism,” Point of View, Op-Ed, Asahi Shimbun, 9 July 2015.

Since September 2012, two concrete drivers of Sino-Japanese tensions have soared to unprecedented highs: Chinese military and paramilitary activity in the waters and airspace surrounding the Senkaku (Chinese: Diaoyu) Islands, and Japanese fighter jet scrambles against approaching Chinese planes.

Meanwhile, Sino-Japanese antipathy has reached post-normalization peaks, polls suggest. The United States pledges to support Japan in the event of a conflict–a commitment U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated at April’s Washington summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Since the summit between Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping last November, the ice between Tokyo and Beijing has begun to thaw. But crowded waters and airspace in the East China Sea still make the risk of miscalculation or low-level encounters escalating into a major crisis too great for comfort. … … …