China-Japan Relations

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  • Xi-Abe handshake, not yet an embrace

    Xi-Abe handshake, not yet an embrace

    Escalation of tension has scarred relations between Japan and China. The fallout of this has been reflected in the trade and economic ties between the two. Stabilizing China-Japan bilateral relations is critical for peace in the East Asia and it has to be seen how this four-point agreement will translate into action.

    November 24, 2014

    China’s ADIZ: A Case of an Overreach?

    There is no doubt that this an audacious foreign policy gambit played by China. Un-named Chinese officials have been quoted in the Chinese press to say that China is willing to instigate strategic confrontation against Japan and are prepared for it to last a 'long time'.

    December 10, 2013

    The Rise of Nationalism in Japan and China

    Both the Chinese and Japanese political leadership are whipping up angst and anger against each other and channelling domestic content into feverish nationalism.

    July 29, 2013

    Does China Mix Business with Politics?

    China maintains a twin track relationship with most countries. While its political differences are handled diplomatically it has continued to engage such nations economically.

    June 21, 2013

    The Challenges Before Shinzo Abe

    Rebuilding Japan’s foreign policy will be another challenge for the Abe Administration, especially in view of the rising tension between Japan and its neighbouring states - China and South Korea – over territorial disputes.

    December 20, 2012

    Japan-China spat over the Senkakus shows no sign of abating

    To avoid further deterioration in the bilateral relationship, both Japan and China need to now abandon their hard-line stance and stop escalating nationalistic sentiments among their people.

    November 14, 2012

    Rising Instability and Regional Naval Modernisation in East Asia

    Considering the complementary interests and interdependencies at stake between China and Japan as also their individual aspirations of nation building through peace and stability, a clash over the Senkakus would only result in a ‘lose-lose’ outcome.

    November 02, 2012

    On East Asian Regional Integration from the Perspective of Economic Security

    In view of putative conflict for leadership in the region between China and Japan, and barriers in various initiatives for deepening and stabilizing regional financial markets, the economic-security discourse in East Asia is still facing an uncertain prospect and should be continually monitored.

    October 23, 2012

    What the Chinese White Paper Says on Diao Yu Dao? An Opportunity to Revisit the Issue

    This Issue Brief presents the historical and legal debate surrounding the dispute and in the process underscores the inconsistencies and weaknesses in the Chinese claims.

    October 10, 2012

    Minh Tran asked: What is the U.S. position on Japan-China territorial dispute over Senkaku Islands?

    Shamshad Ahmad Khan replies: The US position on Senkaku Islands, a contested territory in the East China Sea between Japan and China and Japan and Taiwan, is ambiguous. The US State Department maintains that “the US does not take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands.” However, when the US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Japan and China amidst rising tension between the two neighbours following nationalisation of the Senkakus by Japan on September 11, 2012, although he stated that the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty applies to the Senkakus, but at the same time added that the US will not take sides in the territorial dispute between Japan and China. Therefore, it is not clear what practical steps the US will take in case tension between China and Japan escalates to a higher level.

    The question whether the US will come to Japan’s help in case of a military stand-off with China over Senkakus came to the fore for the first time in September 2010 when a Chinese fishing trawler collided with a Japanese Coast Guard vessel off the Senkakus. The arrest of the captain of the Chinese fishing boat had led to a diplomatic spat and suspension of high-level political meetings between Chinese and Japanese political leaders. At that time, the Obama administration decided not to state explicitly that the Senkakus are subject to the US-Japan Security Treaty, causing anxiety among the strategic circles in Japan.

    In January 2011, Benjamin Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications in the White House, had said that “the US does not have position on the question of sovereignty regarding the issue of the Diaoyu Islands.” For the first time, a senior American official had used the Chinese name Diaoyu to refer to the disputed territory. This was seen as a departure from the official position maintained by the previous Bush administration. In 2004, the US State Department had stated that the Senkaku Islands have been under the administrative control of the government of Japan since they were returned as part of the reversion of Okinawa in 1972.

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