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 nippon.com. 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).

A man reads a newspaper on a street in Tokyo, 29 August 2020. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

How Japan will deal with China-US conflict and the Taiwan issue under the new Suga administration

Business cooperation will likely be a key theme of the China-Japan relationship under the new Suga administration, says Japanese academic Shin Kawashima. However, various challenges will continue to beset bilateral relations. All eyes are also on Nobuo Kishi, the new Defence Minister and Shinzō Abe’s younger brother, who has strong ties to Taiwan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend the first working session of the G20 Summit. (G20 OSAKA)

Four turning points: How Abe got China-Japan relations out of negative territory

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima examines the evolution of Japan-China relations in the eight years under the Abe administration, and concludes that though Abe helped to normalise Japan-China relations, the future development of bilateral relations remains unpredictable and more precarious. 
People walk past a giant screen showing a news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping wearing a face mask, at a shopping area in Beijing, 31 July 2020. (Tingshu Wang/REUTERS)

Xi Jinping's possible visit to South Korea sparks speculations

Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Japan in March was postponed, but next on his list of possible destinations for an official visit might be South Korea. Following Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit in December 2019, Politburo member Yang Jiechi visited South Korea in late August, possibly paving the way for a visit by Xi. What does that mean for China's relations with South Korea and with Japan as tensions between China and the US continue to escalate?
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a mural inside Toyota's Mega Web showroom in Tokyo, 4 August 2020. (Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg)

Japan is not decoupling from China

As the coronavirus continues to affect supply chains worldwide, especially with China being a key hub, Japan is taking steps to diversity its sources and be less reliant on China. However, contrary to previous speculations, Japanese academic Shin Kawashima does not think that the Japanese government is attempting to decouple from China, in the way that the decoupling of advanced industries is being carried out in the US.
This file photo taken on 13 October 2011 shows a P-3C patrol plane of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. A local assembly of Japan's southern Okinawa island on June 22, 2020 approved a plan to rename the area covering disputed islands in the East China Sea, sparking protests from Beijing and Taipei. (STR/AFP)

Japanese academic: China stoking tensions in East China Sea

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima says that increasingly aggressive moves by China in the East China Sea will be interpreted by Japan as provocation and contribute to deteriorating Sino-Japanese relations.
An outdoor screen shows live coverage of China’s President Xi Jinping attending the closing session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, 28 May 2020. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

Cancelling Xi Jinping's visit to Japan? Vested interests split views of Japanese politicians

Factionalism within the LDP has cast the spotlight on the prospect of Japan cancelling a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan that was postponed earlier in the year. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima rationalises that such requests are not a unified LDP view, much less a government one. With a general election coming up in Japan, Sino-Japanese relations will no doubt continue to be part of the shadow play, but there being no smoke without fire, the deterioration of Sino-Japanese relations cannot be underestimated as well.
Anti-government demonstrators scuffle with riot police during a lunch time protest as a second reading of a controversial national anthem law takes place in Hong Kong, 27 May 2020. (Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

Japanese academic: Japan's call for 'wise action' on Hong Kong's national security law a strong statement

Japan's support of Taiwan's participation in the WHO Assembly, Chinese military operations in the East China Sea, and Japanese thoughts of delinking Japan-China supply chains have been some of the key issues in Japan-China relations during the pandemic. But the Japanese public is most concerned with the national security law in Hong Kong, according to academic Shin Kawashima. What are the implications for Japan-China relations? And will President Xi Jinping become the first state guest to visit Japan “post-corona"?
The Chinese flag flutters on Tiananmen Square before the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing, 21 May 2020. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/REUTERS)

China wants 'co-opetition' with the US, but can that happen?

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima says that China had until recently reined itself in while working to form new power relations in the face of friction with the US. Since the spread of the coronavirus however, it has become more brazen in criticising the US. While it has said several times that it is not out to replace the US and that it seeks to build a “shared future for mankind”, will China stay the path of seeking cooperation amid competition?
A secury guard (center) stands at a closed cherry blossom viewing spot in Tokyo's Ueno park on 28 March 2020. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Japanese academic: Battling Covid-19 is not a global match of going for gold

Shin Kawashima says that China needs to tread carefully in the ways that it is publicising its efforts in helping other nations battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Excessive propaganda tends to backfire and create huge perception gaps between China and the rest of the world, which will not be a good thing if it hopes to increase its soft power in the days and months ahead.