Kunihiko Saito


After the end of the Cold War, a number of welcome indications, such as attaining peace in Cambodia and the admission of Vietnam to ASEAN membership, signaled that the Asian-Pacific region was headed into a more predictable era. The Asian countries were becoming more mature politically, and this political stability in turn engendered eye-opening economic growth. However, the end of the Cold War in and of itself, did not remove any of the various causes of tension and confrontation in Asia. In northeastern Asia in particular, destabilizing factors continue to exist unabated: a divided nation remains, territorial disputes continue, a former superpower looks toward an uncertain future, and heavy accumulations of military forces remain. On the Korean peninsula, 1.6 million troops continue to stare each other down on either side of the 38th parallel, and the relationship between Taiwan and China has become very tense. The territorial dispute over the Spratley Islands is yet another possible source of tension. These issues continue to demand our undivided attention. This article discusses the actions of Russia and Japan post Cold War, and addresses what Japan should do to assure its own security, what Japan should do to assure regional security, and what the role of the United States is in this conflict.