Japan-Korea relations and the Tokdo/Takeshima dispute : the interplay of nationalism and natural resources
Date of Issue2010
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The Tokdo/Takeshima dispute has remained a major irritant in Japan-Korea relations, preventing a deepening of diplomatic ties. This paper claims that the dynamics of the dispute have been informed by nationalism and access to natural resources. It argues that it is precisely the interplay of these considerations that can lead to the rapid escalation of a maritime territorial dispute or conversely to a diffusion of tensions in bilateral relations. Nationalism and the quest for natural resources have, in the context of the Tokdo/Takeshima issue, been locked in a convergent and escalating relationship. Nationalistic sentiments and the imperative to guarantee access to natural resources have reinforced each other in fuelling the dispute. The purpose of this paper is therefore to offer a better understanding of how nationalism and resources influence and interplay in the Tokdo/Takeshima dispute and to identify pathways to cooperation.
RSIS Working Paper ; 212/10