Japan has pursued a grand strategy of creating an East Asian maritime order with a special emphasis on situating a U.S.-Japan-China trilateral arrangement, based on cooperative security, at the core of an East Asian maritime regime. The United States and China have slowly adopted some of this Japanese strategy. This article examines the lessons East Asia has learned from several maritime security initiatives—America’s Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and its Regional Maritime Security Initiative (RMSI), Japan’s ReCAAP, and Southeast Asia’s MALSINDO—that were applied to the anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden. Despite the influence of Japan’s strategy for maritime security, paradoxically it has responded more slowly in its deployment to the Gulf of Aden, contributing to the traditional image of Japan as a reactive state. The institutional design of maritime regimes in the Gulf of Aden and in East Asia is thus incrementally unfolding; maritime cooperation is taking place in an ad hoc, bottom-up manner with very uncertain outcomes.


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pp. 107-149
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