Organized Panel Session
4 - Politics and Public Opinion in Japan: The Senkaku / Diaoyu Crisis’ Impact on the Amendment of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution
Saturday, July 7
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Juniper, New Building
The control over the Senkaku/Diaoyu has become one of the main causes of friction in the relations between Japan and China. Both state actors have strongly pursued their hierarchies of preferences in this scenery. In the case of Japan, this conflict has had an important role in the Japanese national debate on the amendment of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.
Nonetheless, due to their interlinked economies in a globalized world, these political players have also powerful national incentives to de-escalate the conflict, opening the door to reach a regional equilibrium point. However, non-state actors on both sides are actively trying to prevent this crystallization of the status quo through communicative actions. In the case of China, these non-state actors can be identified as the Baodiao movement, a transnational organization that operates not only in mainland China but also in Taiwan, Hong Kong and within the Chinese diaspora. In the case of Japan, the ultranationalistic uyoku dantai groups perform demonstrations and protests claiming the Japanese sovereignty over the islands. The objective of these non-state actors is to shape the domestic public opinion and, as a consequence, modify the government strategy towards the islands obligating them to adopt a more assertive position. This article will examine the communicative role of these non-state actors and will analyze the impact of the Senkaku/Diaoyu conflict on the articulation of the Japanese public opinion towards China and on the national debate regarding the amendment of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.