With the rise of China, Japan and many East Asian countries are caught between maximizing profit from economic ties with her, and strengthening alliances with the United States to prevent China from overpowering them. Liberals and realists thus debate over the likelihood of either security tensions easing up or economic interdependence getting reduced eventually. On the other hand, Iida introduces a new theory that reinterprets the relationship between state security and economic interdependence among countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Based on case studies of recent episodes in East Asia, and especially on the experiences of Japan, this book highlights an interesting dynamic between security and economic interdependence: risk avoidance. By understanding how risk avoidance affects the behavior of these countries in terms of security and economics, it becomes evident how they eventually settle into what Iida calls "Cool Politics" and "Lukewarm Economics".