The United States, Australia, Japan, India, France, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and ASEAN have adopted the term “Indo-Pacific” as a policy symbol of regional engagement. However, less attention has been given to the change in the geographical definition of the “Indo-Pacific”. This study examines how these countries have adjusted the geographical scope of “Indo-Pacific” to understand how they conceptualise the region. It finds that the inherent core area of the “Indo-Pacific” is from India to the Southeast Asian countries and the seas from the eastern Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, and that the “Indo-Pacific” has converged eastwards and diverged westwards through the geographical adjustment process. It also found that some of the geographical definitions have an additional function of conveying diplomatic messages. These findings will help us understand how the concept of “Indo-Pacific” as conceptualised by various countries develops.
About the Author
Wada Haruko is a Visiting Associate at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She is an official at Japan’s Ministry of Defense. She received her MA from Ewha Womans University and her BA from Ochanomizu University. The views expressed here are her own and do not represent the views of the Ministry of Defense nor of the government of Japan.
East Asia and Asia Pacific / International Politics and Security / Maritime Security / South Asia / Southeast Asia and ASEAN / Working Papers
Last updated on 17/03/2020