This edited collection of papers examines the emerging concept of the Indo-Pacific, maritime tensions including in the East and South China Seas, transnational security issues, the role of Japan as a regional security partner, and prospects for partnerships involving other countries. These are drawn from a conference convened by the National Security College in March 2016 as part of a wider research and policy engagement project with the generous support of the Embassy of Japan.
The Indo-Pacific region is becoming widely recognised as the global centre of gravity in economic interaction, demographics, transnational security challenges or the strategic balance. As the 2016 Australian Defence White Paper affirmed, this is Australia's region, but it is also a vast maritime zone where the interests of many players are engaged. These powers include China, India, Japan and the United States, but also substantial medium and smaller powers, including Australia and Indonesia, and stakeholders from beyond the region. The Indo-Pacific sea-lanes, after all, are becoming the world's principal highways for energy and commerce.