As the world modernizes, the relationship between nations becomes increasingly important. Globalization has taken over, allowing countries to lower transactions costs across areas of economic trade and social interactions. This has prompted international governments to create trade, social, and security connections with one another. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs focuses on establishing and maintaining beneficial U.S.-Asian relationships. The head of the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau, Daniel R. Russel declares that, "The well-being and future of the United States is inextricably connected to the peaceful development of the Asia-Pacific region" ("Bureau of East Asian," n.d.). For this reason, the peaceful resolve of the Sino-Japanese island territory dispute in the East China Sea holds great importance to the United States. .
If the Senkaku island dispute were to become violent, the U.S.-Sino, U.S.-Japanese, and the Japanese-Sino relationships could be dramatically impaired. It could potentially damage the world economy due to the fact that Japan, China and the United States are all economic superpowers. Political relations between the United States and Asia have "only grown stronger as our [the U.S. and Asia] economies have become more interconnected, and as our people have grown closer through travel and the Internet" (Russel, 2015). Thus the United States has an investment in the developing problem surrounding the Senkaku islands, and has a duty to attempt to resolve the argument peacefully.
In order to approach the Senkaku island dispute realistically, the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs must first comprehensively understand both China and Japan's historical claim to the five islands and three rocks. For the past forty years, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Japan have been fighting over a territory dispute for five uninhabited islands and three rocks in the East China Sea, of which Japan currently has "administrative control".