More Significance than Value: Explaining Developments in the Sino-Japanese Contest Over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands

Todd H. Hall, Associate Professor of International Relations, has published a new article on the tension between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.


The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are presently the focus of a dangerous contest between the People’s Republic of China and Japan, one that even now has the potential to spark a military conflict that could draw in the United States. How has this come about? Whether seen from a strategic, economic, or historical perspective, the value of the islands does not appear to merit the risks of such a contest. Rather, like the proverbial tube of toothpaste at the centre of a marital row, the protagonists have projected onto the islands a wide array of other concerns, frustrations, anxieties, and resentments. 

Professor Todd H. Hall is Professor of International Relations, Tutorial Fellow in Politics for St Anne's College