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Picture of Sino-Japanese Relations

Sino-Japanese Relations

The Need for Conflict Prevention and Management

Editor(s): Niklas Swanström and Ryosei Kokubun

Book Description

Sino-Japanese relations are crucial for the entire East Asian region and beyond. With both countries among the five biggest economies in the world, and being highly interdependent, the bilateral relationship is of key importance not only for economic cooperation and prosperity in the region but in a larger global perspective. Moreover, Sino-Japanese political and military relations are central to the regional security of Northeast Asia. Any deterioration in relations has the potential to generate conflicts with far-reaching consequences. Accordingly, conflict prevention and conflict management in Sino-Japanese relations are of vital concern to the international community.
In the past decade, however, the Sino-Japanese relationship has been increasingly marked by political strife and tension. While this has not escalated into military conflict and in spite of changes with the emergence of a new leader, Yasuo Fukuda, in Japan and a political reshuffle at the 17th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2007, future developments are difficult to predict.
Historical grievances and differing interpretations thereof play a large role in sustaining political tensions, which are reinforced by mutually negative perceptions at a grassroots level and a noticeable lack of trust. Japan’s occupation of parts of China in the first half of the 20th century and according to Chinese a failure by Japan to issue an apology remain a key obstacle to any improvement in relations. Tensions over contemporary issues have strong historical linkages and it is clear that problematic political relations have sub-optimized the economic potential between the two countries as well as heightened suspicions of each other’s military ambitions.
More positively, business communities in both China and Japan have been pro-active in advocating improved cooperation and also a large majority of the ruling elite are eager to improve relations. Given the complex history and current power relations between the two countries, cultivating such will by no means be an easy task.
Nevertheless, the authors hope that this book will help further understanding of Sino-Japanese relations and so contribute towards the development of mutually advantageous relations – a necessity in today’s world order.


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8620-1
ISBN-10: 1-84718-620-3
Date of Publication: 01/07/2008
Pages / Size: 230 / A5
Price: £34.99


Niklas L.P. Swanström is Director of the Institute for Security and Development Policy ( Dr. Swanström’s main areas of expertise are conflict prevention, conflict management, and regional cooperation; Chinese foreign policy and security in Northeast Asia. His focus is mainly on Northeast Asia, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. He is also the editor of the China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly.
Ryosei Kokubun is Dean and Professor of Faculty of Law and Politics and former Director of Institute of East Asian Studies at Keio University. He is currently President of Japan Association of International Relations and former President of Japan Association for Asian Studies. His main interest is on Chinese politics.