China-Japan Geopolitical Conflict Stress Test Scenario

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The scenario quantifies the effects of a conflict catastrophe, where Japan and China carry out military strikes on each other, without provoking the military involvement of their allies. This clash follows an escalation of tensions over several months and is eventually ended by international intervention led by Russia and the United States.

A period of ‘Long Peace’ has dominated since the Second World War. During this period, it is difficult to imagine a major conflict breaking out. Surveys of people’s risk perception suggest that the threat of interstate conflict is underestimated. Therefore, in this report a review of political science and conflict studies is used to identify a category of conflict that is plausible for modern political conditions, but severe enough to challenge assumptions about the status quo.