Shin Kawashima

Professor of international relations, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, University of Tokyo

Dr Shin Kawashima is professor of international relations at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, University of Tokyo. He was educated at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (B.A.1992) and the University of Tokyo (Oriental history, M.A., 1992 and Ph.D, 2000). He taught at Hokkaido University's Department of Politics, Faculty of Law from 1998 to 2006 before moving to the University of Tokyo in 2006. Some of his other roles include senior researcher of Nakasone Peace Institute; senior fellow of National Security Agency; advisory member of the Committee for the Promotion of the Declassification of Diplomatic Records, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; member of The Advisory Panel on Communications Concerning Territorial Integrity, Office of Policy Planning and Coordination on Territory and Sovereignty; and editor of He has studied Chinese/Taiwanese diplomatic history based on Chinese diplomatic archives and recently started a study on contemporary international relations in East Asia. His first book, Formation of Chinese Modern Diplomacy (2004), was awarded the Suntory Academic Prize in 2004. Some of the other books he has written or co-authored include China in the 21st Century (2016), Frontier of China (2017), and Japan-China Relations in the Modern Era (2017).

People walk through a shopping street in Omotesando area of Tokyo on 15 December 2022. (Yuichi Yamazaki/AFP)

How China and Japan see each other

The recently released results of the Japan-China Joint Opinion Survey show changing trends in Japan's and China's perceptions of each other. Factors such as the economy, the Russia-Ukraine war, Taiwan Strait tensions and the media were important influences on public opinions in the past year, with the latter going on to impact foreign policies.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (L) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during their meeting in Bangkok on November 17, 2022, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. (Jiji Press/AFP)

Future of Japan-China relations not rosy despite summit

While the recent meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping is a good step in restoring relations on a good path, underlying tensions remain and the bilateral relationship may be rocky for some time yet.
Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese walk together to their one-on-one meeting at Fraser's Restaurant on 22 October 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Stefan Gosatti/Pool via Reuters)

Japan-Australia relations moves up a notch with China in mind

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima assesses the joint statement and joint declaration issued by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently, observing a strengthening of relations amid common interests.
Visitors walk down Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China, on 2 October 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Japanese academic: China's superficial 'moderate' diplomacy will not work with developed countries

China has tried to create a stable diplomatic environment ahead of the 20th Party Congress, not least with Foreign Minister Wang Yi's talks with various leaders at the sidelines of the recent UNGA in New York. While it has tried to deflect attention by highlighting divisions in the West while rebuilding bridges in light of economic considerations, it will be a tall order to convince the international community that it practises 'moderate' diplomacy.
People walk down a street in the entertainment area of Shimbashi in Tokyo on 5 September 2022. (Richard A. Brooks/AFP)

In search of better relations with Japan? China’s inscrutable Japan policy

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima wonders if a recent Japan-China press conference signals China's willingness to engage Japan amid heightened tensions after Chinese missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Even if this is so and the Kishida administration is keen to emphasise relations with China, it will not be an easy task to answer China's call.
A man leaves a note on a memorial wall for late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election, outside of the de-facto Japanese embassy in Taipei, Taiwan, 11 July 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

The need for institutional expansion in Japan-Taiwan relations

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima examines the sympathy in Taiwan over the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. Why is strengthening the institutionalised relationship between Japan and Taiwan crucial and how can this be done within the framework of China's "one China" principle that Japan “fully understands and respects”?
People wearing protective masks amid the Covid-19 outbreak, stand in front of cross walk in Tokyo, Japan, 25 July 2022. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

The generation gap in Japanese attitudes toward China

There is a distinct difference in how younger and older Japanese perceive and feel about China — generally, the younger generation feels more positive about China than their seniors. This can be attributed to their different shared experiences and common sentiments among peers. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima points out the various factors leading to this divergence.
Fumio Kishida, Japan's Prime Minister and president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), walks past his poster after placing a paper rose on an LDP candidate's name, to indicate a victory in the upper house election, at the party's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, 10 July 2022. (Toru Hanai/Pool via Reuters)

Japanese academic: Misunderstandings surrounding Japan’s constitutional revision

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima notes that concerns about Japan's possible increased militarism amid constitutional revision may be misplaced. The debate in Japan is focused on making Japan's Self-Defence Forces constitutional, and not so much altering Article 9 itself. If countries are concerned about Japan's security moves, they should really be looking out for changes in documents such as the revised National Security Strategy to be launched at the end of the year.
A woman walks past candidates' posters for the July 10, 2022 Upper House election in Tokyo, Japan, 22 June 2022. (Issei Kato/Reuters)

Foreign and security policy in Japan’s upper house elections

With the upper house elections in Japan fast approaching, the various political parties are putting forward their platforms on key issues such as price hikes, foreign and security policy, and constitutional reform. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima examines the factors that will make a difference in how the votes will go, and whether the Kishida administration will manage to secure victory.