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East Asia Program presents: Yongwook Ryu. Identity, Threat Perception, and Conflict in Sino-Japanese Relations

100A Eggers Hall

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East Asia Program presents: Yongwook Ryu Identity, Threat Perception, and Conflict in Sino-Japanese Relations The fishing boat collision incident of September 2010 is indicative of an increasing level of conflict between China and Japan since the 1990s. How can we account for this trend? Though useful, power transition theory has limited utility in explaining this trend. I argue and show that worsening identity views between the two countries negatively affect mutual threat perception and increase the likelihood of conflict between the two countries. The so-called “history problem” (lishi wenti or rekishi mondai) is the key cause of the worsening identity views, and hence the resolution of this problem would go a long way to improve bilateral relations and cooperation. Yongwook Ryu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Government, Harvard University, and will become an assistant professor in the Department of International Relations, Australian National University from Feb 2012. He specializes in international relations of East Asia, identity and security, regional organizations, and foreign policies of China, Japan, and Korea. He is currently working on two other projects analyzing the effect of identity on audience costs and the emergence of a regional human rights mechanism in Asia. Lunch will be served.

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