Episode 34 | Japan and South Korea: Navigating an Era of Competition

Episode 34

Japan and South Korea: Navigating an Era of Competition

Released on May 28, 2021

This week we set our sights on Japan and South Korea, East Asia’s most prominent middle powers.

With the United States and China showing no sign of backing away from confrontation, we look at what it means for two countries caught between them geographically and politically.

What roles do they see themselves taking on as the Asia-Pacific becomes ever more fractious? Both are major economic players, with important clout both in their own sphere and further afield. The decisions they make could have a significant impact on some of the most pressing challenges facing the region.

Is this new era of competition ripe with opportunity, or fraught with danger? And what, if anything, are they doing to make Asia a safer place?

Haruko Satoh, Professor at the Osaka School of International Public Policy in Japan, is back with us for this episode, and Brendan Howe, Professor of International Relations at Ewha Womans University in South Korea, joins us too. Chatham House’s Bill Hayton is our host again this week.

Haruko Satoh

Haruko Satoh is Specially Appointed Professor at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), where she teaches Japan’s relations with Asia and identity in international relations. She is also co-director of the OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre and she was previously part of the MEXT Reinventing Japan project on “Peace and Human Security in Asia (PAHSA)” with six Southeast Asian and four Japanese universities. In the past she has worked at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), Chatham House, and Gaiko Forum. She also appeared on Episode 33.

Brendan Howe

Brendan Howe is a Professor of International Relations at the Graduate School of International Studies at Ewha Womans University. Previous posts include Visiting Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, and lecturer at University Malaysia Sarawak. He is President of the Korean International Studies Association, and President of the Asian Political and International Studies Association. He is an advisor to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He received his B.A. from Oxford University, M.A. from Oxford University and the University of Kent at Canterbury, and Ph.D. at the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

Bill Hayton (@bill_hayton)

Bill Hayton is an Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House in 2015 and has worked as a journalist with BBC News since 1998. He is the author of The Invention of China and The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia. He was the BBC’s reporter in Vietnam in 2006/7 and spent a year seconded to the state broadcaster in Myanmar in 2013/14 working on media development. He focuses on the South China Sea disputes and current affairs in Southeast Asia. He has briefed government departments, officials and companies in the UK, the USA, Europe and Asia and written for numerous media outlets on these subjects. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He also hosted Episode 31, Episode 27 and Episode 24.