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Indo-Pacific security links: Japan's constitution, Malabar, SLBMs, defence hotline and more

Indo-Pacific security links: Japan's constitution, Malabar, SLBMs, defence hotline and more
Published 31 Jul 2014   Follow @AYCKwon

The Indo-Pacific is a strategic system encompassing the Indian and Pacific oceans, reflecting the expanding interests and reach of China and India as well as the enduring role of the US. The Lowy Institute's International Security program presents a weekly selection of links illuminating the changing security picture in this increasingly connected super-region.

  • Despite a negative response from China, constitutional reinterpretation has paved the way for greater military cooperation between the US and Japan. 
  • Largely overlooked, however, have been the potential constitutional constraints on the US to fulfil its alliance commitments to Japan.
  • Doubts aside, Japan joined and hosted the annual US-India naval exercises, Exercise Malabar. Undertaken off the south coast of Japan, the drills will conclude on 30 July 30 . 
  • Meanwhile, China also began nationwide military exercises, which included naval drills in the disputed East China Sea. The scale of the land component reportedly caused mass disruption to China’s domestic air traffic.
  • Increased competition with China has been cited as a reason for the accelerated development of India’s submarine launched ballistic missile system, again raising concern over the subcontinent’s nuclear balance. 
  • Amid regional tension, Indonesia has called on China to make the Indo-Pacific ‘peaceful’.
  • The recent overture again highlights Indonesia’s increasing concern over the impact of regional disputes
  • On a more positive note, China and South Korea worked towards managing their differences by announcing the establishment of a defence hotline between capitals.

The Lowy Institute International Security Program's work on Indo-Pacific security is supported by two grants from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation

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