Table of Contents

China, Japan and Regional Leadership in East Asia

China, Japan and Regional Leadership in East Asia

Edited by Christopher M. Dent

This book considers themes, evidence and ideas relating to the prospects for regional leadership in East Asia, with particular reference to China and Japan assuming ‘regional leader actor’ roles. Key issues discussed by the list of distinguished contributors include: • the extent to which there is an East Asian region to lead • China–Japan relations • different aspects of Japan and China’s positions in the East Asia region • how the seemingly inexorable rise of China is being addressed within the region • how China and Japan have explored paths of regional leadership through certain regional and multilateral organisations and frameworks • the position of certain ‘intermediary powers’ (i.e. the United States and Korea) with regards to regional leadership diplomacy in East Asia. Invaluably, the concluding chapter brings together the main findings of the book and presents new analytical approaches for studying the nature of, and prospects for leadership in East Asia.

Chapter 9: Leadership in Global Governance: Japan and China in the G8 and the United Nations

Hugo Dobson

Subjects: asian studies, asian geography, asian urban and regional studies, economics and finance, regional economics


Hugo Dobson 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter explores the roles played by the annual summit of the Group of Eight countries (G8) and the United Nations (UN) in the provision of global governance, in addition to the leadership exhibited (or not) by Japan and China. On the one hand, Japan is a founding member of the G8 whereas China has only recently participated as an informal dialogue partner, although a more permanent inclusion in this forum is now regularly touted. On the other hand, China occupies a permanent seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC) but Japan is a latecomer to the UN and frustrated in its attempts to join the UNSC. The chapter outlines the pattern of behaviour exhibited by Japan in the G8, evaluates whether this amounts to leadership and assesses whether this is any indication of the leadership role it might take if it were to join the UNSC, and vice versa in the case of China. In the field of international relations, leadership is a slippery term. Styles of leadership identified include a task-oriented confrontational approach versus the interpersonal approach, in addition to transactional/strategic leadership – ‘the pursuit of mutual self-interest over the long-term’ (Walker, 2006: 138) – and transformational/moral leadership, which places emphasis on morality in the means and ends of international politics. Important variables influencing leadership might include domestic constraints, nationalism, different perceptions of time, differing levels of operation (unilateral, bilateral and multilateral) and the utilization of formal, informal and proxy channels of...

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