Japan is confronted with multifaceted challenges in the increasingly capricious geopolitical environment of the day. Japan seems to have landed in the "Thucydides Trap" and is feeling a heightened sense of security dilemma. The rise of China and its overt assertiveness along with its unflinching claim on the Senkaku islands have brought Japan in direct conflict with China. Historical discontents between the two countries and the Chinese complaint about the reverence displayed by its politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine have further deepened the distrust and hostility. These developments have had an impact on the Japanese psyche and triggered a new sense of crisis for Japanese populace. History stands witness that whenever Japan is faced with such a crisis it has asserted its nationalistic spirit strongly. Political establishment in Japan is well aware that the nationalistic fervor can be used to galvanize people for purposes such as revitalizing economic growth, consolidating political power and revising the Constitution of Japan. The amendment of Japanese Constitution is not possible without the support of the majority of Japanese people. If the Japanese psyche feels increasingly threatened, the prospect of Constitutional amendment cannot be disregarded as an improbable pursuit. This paper argues that the conflict-scenario will accentuate between Japan and China which in turn will destabilize the security architecture in the East Asian region. Further, this will have considerable impact on the strategic relations of Japan with major actors like the U.S. and India, for these actors will be crucial for striking the much needed regional as well as global balance of power.
About the Speaker
Mr. Dinamani is a PhD scholar at the Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. He also teaches “Cultural History of Japan” as Guest Faculty at the Centre for Japanese Studies, School of Language, Literature and Cultural Studies, JNU. He is a recipient of Junior Research Fellowship (NET) in Japanese by UGC-NET, India. He has presented a paper on the topic “Power and Resistance in East Asia: Changing Dynamics” in the international conference organised by the School of International Studies, JNU. He participated in the Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies 2017in Toronto. He has visited places of cultural and historical importance centred in and around Tokyo and Kamakura in 2012 as part of ‘A Cultural Study Tour to Japan’. In 2011, he represented India as a young leader in the Kamenori Earth Youth Summit (KEYS) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In addition to International Politics, his sphere of interest extends to philosophy, religion and cultural studies. (Mr. Dinamani can be reached at email@example.com)