Topic Three: Situation in the South China Sea– White Paper
The South China Sea boasts incredibly valuable maritime resources that have the potential to bolster the economies of whichever nations capitalize on these resources. However, the Japanese people and their prosperity are endangered. Chinese aggression in the South China Sea has tarnished the golden prospect of Japan’s share in the bountiful resources and strategic trade routes found in the South China Sea. Rather than escalate a dispute, however, Japan aims to use the framework of the Security Council as a means to create fair terms with China and other nations staking claims in the South China Sea. Japan wishes to avoid the imposition of will of powerful armies seeking to control the region exclusively for the country they represent. Ultimately, Japan’s vision is that each nation can share in reaping benefits from this strategic geographical feature.
To develop maritime boundaries within this body of water, Japan suggests using an objective measure that would justly partition the sea. For example, population and GDP are two measures that can be used to define each country’s share in the South China Sea. Accordingly, each country would share in a specific amount of coastline. For countries fearing a disproportionate representation in the South China Sea, the UN-enforced system may also allow for trading of land portions between nations for an agreed upon sum of money or trade benefits. Each nation may choose whether to dedicate their portion of land to an Exclusive Economic Zone or a Marine Protected Area. Most importantly, the partitioning of the South China Sea would be most effective if each nation involved had the freedom to determine the use of their parcel of maritime claim. Japan also understands that some nations may be dismayed by the partitioning of the South China Sea. However, given the multinational nature of the claims on the body of water and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which provides a framework for resolving international conflicts over marine territory, Japan believes that a compromise must be reached to be truly fair to all participants in this conflict. That said, the people of Japan are willing to cooperate with nations involved to ensure that each nation is represented in the discussion regarding the future of the South China Sea.
Japan recognizes that enforcement of United Nations mandates has been difficult in the South China Sea. To strengthen the framework provided in UNCLOS, Japan would be open to discussing incentives to both share the South China Sea and provide consequences for nations that violate the terms set forth in anticipated Security Council resolutions. Nations that continue pursuing policies of aggression and breaching United Nations mandates may face sanctions and probation, while nations cooperating in the region may find trade more conducive with other trading blocs represented in the United Nations. Japan believes that with specifically delineated rewards for compliance and consequences for disobedience, the Security Council can tame the tensions prevailing in the South China Sea. In doing so, the Security Council may strive to create a region that provides economic benefits to numerous nations and their trading partners.