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The Future of the Japanese-Chinese Relationship: The Case for a Grand Political Bargain

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Compared with the strained relationship during the Koizumi era, Japanese-Chinese relations today seem to prove that despite many bilateral problems, a solution can always be found. This attitude is too complacent as a closer examination of the three main disputes shows: the history-related issues, the territorial disputes in the East China Sea, and Taiwan. Bilateral agreements, understandings, or protracted negotiations may provide temporary relief but may turn out to be very costly in the long run to Japan's national interests and to regional stability while time is not on Japan's side in view of the shifting comprehensive power relationship between the two countries. Instead, Japan should clarify its position in the Japan-US-China triangle, reform its economy, strengthen its Asian policy and sort out its priorities concerning the three main problems by striking a grand bargain.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-11-01

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