Transpacific Evolution from Confrontation to Cooperation: US-East Asian Relations in the Ebb and Flow of the Cold War

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: Transpacific Evolution from Confrontation to Cooperation: US-East Asian Relations in the Ebb and Flow of the Cold War
Stream: History
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Authors:
Fumitaka Cho, Rikkyo University, Japan (organizer, presenter)
Zhongtian Han, The George Washington University, United States (presenter)
Risa Nakayama, Wako University, Japan (presenter)
Khue Do, Harvard-Yenching Institute, United States (chair, discussant)

Abstract:

This panel aims to explore the dynamics in US-East Asian relations from the 1960s through the 1970s. In the former decade, East Asia was largely overshadowed by the Cold War, which centered on the US-Sino rivalry. Military historian Zhongtian Han will address the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1962, exploring how a Chinese local context of Fujian province intersected US Cold War strategy to produce great repercussions in East Asia. The following decade, which witnessed a significant ease of Cold War confrontation, marked a watershed: US-East Asian relations assumed closeness and multidimensionality. The core of their relations was the US-Japanese partnership, which was reinforced by the US decision to return Okinawa to Japan. Cultural historian Risa Nakayama’s survey of TV programs created by the US authority in Okinawa will provide a novel explanation of how the US strived culturally to fulfill the Okinawa reversion without a hitch. Toward the end of the 1970s, not only diplomatic relations but also social relations between the US and Japan came to shape their partnership. Transnational historian Fumitaka Cho will seek to examine such aspects specifically concerning the Indochinese refugee crisis and the Japanese dolphin killing. The refugee crisis, as diplomatic historian Haran Choi will argue, led the nations concerned to the institution of a significant regional cooperative framework in which Asia-Pacific foreign ministers would assemble from ASEAN countries, the US, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Thus, this panel will offer fresh perspectives on transpacific reconfiguration from multiple vantage points through four distinctive approaches.