Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle

Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle

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by Victor D. Cha
     
 

Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have been two of the most critical pillars of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for the past thirty years. At the same time, their relationship has fluctuated markedly and unpredictably. Despite the existence of a common ally in the United States and common security threats from the former Soviet Union,… See more details below

Overview

Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have been two of the most critical pillars of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for the past thirty years. At the same time, their relationship has fluctuated markedly and unpredictably. Despite the existence of a common ally in the United States and common security threats from the former Soviet Union, China, and North Korea, bilateral relations between Japan and South Korea have been persistently marred by friction. In the first in-depth study of this puzzling relationship in over fifteen years, the author compares the commonly accepted explanation for this relationship - historical enmity - with one that focuses on policies of the United States as the key driver of Japan-ROK relations. He finds that while history and emotion certainly affect the ways in which Japanese and Koreans regard each other, cooperation and dissension in the relationship are better understood through what he calls a "quasi-alliance" model: two states that remain unallied but have a third party as a common ally.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Analyzes the relationship between the three countries, comparing the commonly accepted explanation for this relationship<-->historical enmity<-->with one that focuses on policies of the US as the key driver of Japan-Republic of Korea relations. Finds that while history and emotion certainly affect the ways in which Japanese and Koreans regard each other, cooperation and dissension in the relationship are better understood through a model of two states that remain unallied but have a third party as a common ally. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
From the Publisher

"A carefully researched treatment of the highs and lows of U.S.-Japan-Korea trilateral policy coordination. . . . It merits reading by both scholars and practitioners of East Asian security."—William J. Perry, Former Secretary of Defense and Special Advisor to the President on North Korea Policy

"Cha's book is a meticulously documented yet readable account of the tensions and interactions between America's tow allies in Northeast Asia in recent decades. It adds significantly to accessible knowledge of a difficult but increasingly important relationship."—Don Oberdorfer, author of The Two Koreas: A Contmporary History

"The book is an impressive piece of work which raises the level of academic dicussion on the U.S.-Korea-Japan security triangle. . . . Cha's book should be a major contribution."—Ezra F. Vogel, Howard University

"The book's stengths are both theoretical and empirical. Cha develops a very good framework that yields testable predicitons about how U.S.-Japan-ROK relations should change. The empirical chapters set out important history . . . and work very well for testing the theory."—Robert Jervis, Columbia University

"Victor D. Cha's Alignment Despite Antagonism provides a much needed corrective to the tyranny of solipsistic historicism in understanding South Korea-Japan security ties and sets a new benchmark for scholarship."—The Journal of Asian Studies
"Cha's work represents a landmark in the study of South Korea-Japan relations and a new starting place for all future studies on these crucial ties. Cha's study may be the most systematic and objective study of South Korea-Japan security ties thus far, and his analysis explains more than existing explanations."—The Journal of Asian Studies
"Cha's most important contribution is that his study sets a new standard for scholarship."—The Journal of Asian Studies

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804731911
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
05/28/1999
Pages:
385
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.37(h) x 1.13(d)

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