Combinative Hedging: Japan and Russia in the East Asian Contested Hierarchical Order

Yohanes Putra Suhito, I. Gede Wahyu Wicaksana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent developments in world politics have demonstrated that East Asia has emerged as a critical locus for great power politics, characterised by the pluralisation of power centres resulting from the competing strategic interests of the United States and China. Indeed, the regional order’s power constellation is moving towards a contested hierarchical model. The first-tier United States seeks to maintain its ‘plural hegemony’ through social compacts, while China fits within the hierarchy as a second-tier state, gradually emerging as an influential actor on the regional and global stage. Third-tier states, such as Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, and Russia, with its abundant energy resources and military prowess, have become potential swing players of influence within the evolving orders— appropriate to their respective capabilities. Observing this dynamic geopolitical environment, our article discusses the relationship between Japan and Russia as they attempt to protect their interests within a pluralising region. We argue that Japan and Russia take a combinative hedge, focusing on flexible collaboration, enabling risk mitigation and maximising short or long-term benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-93
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Asian Security and International Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • combinative hedging
  • decentred order
  • East Asia
  • Japan
  • Russia


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