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Asia Pacific Working Group: Weekly Posting of Articles



            If we needed any incentives to focus more of our efforts to preventing a catastrophic great power war growing out of tensions in East Asia, this week’s reflections by Joseph Nye and Shinzo Abe (see below) – each of whom has made more than his share of contributions to the dangers we face – should more than suffice.  Take a look at the first two articles in this week’s posting.

With this year being the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, an increasing number of analysts are raising alarms about the parallels between the current situation across Asia and the Pacific and the years immediately preceding the gunshot in Sarajevo that triggered the First World War.  They include the inevitable tensions between rising and declining powers, with the dominant powers (then Britain and France, now U.S. and Japan) committed to enforcing the status quo while the rising power (then Germany, now China) presses to modify the prevailing to expand and protect its perceived interests and to exercise the influence it believes is its due. There are territorial disputes, intense arms races, interlocking alliance systems, and nations dependent on naval power being challenged by a continental power asserting itself on the high seas.  As in the early 1900s, international trade and economic globalization surging. There are new technologies increasing communication and new and cataclysmically destructive weapons. Again there is widespread belief that great power war is unimaginable. And, as in Europe in 1914, there are numerous wild cards including potentially failing states and rising nationalism.

Of course, as in 1914 war is not inevitable. Much depends on what we do.

And, meanwhile, voters in Nago voted overwhelmingly to block the construction of a new U.S. Marine air base, and the Abe and U.S. governments are hypocritically assaulting this exercise of democracy doing their best to crush Okinawan resistance. Look for a petition next week to communicate your support for peace, democracy and human dignity.

So, read, work for peace, and share these articles as you think best.

Joseph Gerson


Dangers of Sino-Japanse War:


1914 Revisited – Joseph Nye


Will Japan and China Go to War? – Time Magazine> (1/22)


United States


US Pacific fleet chief says North Korea is top security concern in Asia





 Chinese patrol ship to be based at disputed islands in South China Sea


Regional security tops Sino-US talks in Beijing


China's nuclear missile drill seen as warning to US not to meddle in region


Work under way on China's second aircraft carrier at Dalian yard


China stands for 5 principles in a political settlement of the Syrian issue





Nago mayor wins re-election in blow to Abe, U.S.


Base setback denied after Nago poll


Bidding starts on Futenma base relocation work


Kadena (Okinawa) moms demand truth


Shinzo Abe seeks 'frank discussion' with China and South Korea


Abe’s Version of History Doesn’t Sit Well With Chinese


Ex-teacher sues over ‘Kimigayo’ rule



Foreign Minister Kishida criticized for remark on nuclear weapons while speaking in Nagasaki



ADIZ: a four letter word


S. Korean ruling party exec calls Japan ‘terrorist state’ after hero criticized<


South East Asia

Vietnam marks 40th anniversary of China's invasion of Paracel Islands


This resource is a service of the Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific.



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