China-Japan relations

Pedestrians wearing protective masks to help stop the spread of Covid-19, walk on a street in Tokyo's Ginza area on 25 January 2020. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

In sickness and in health: Honeymoon period for China-Japan relations?

China-Japan relations have never been better in recent years. Chinese commentators have praised Japan’s elegant gestures like sending medical supplies signed off with ancient verses such as “山川异域,风月同天” (roughly: different lands, same sky). China-Japan watchers say this bodes well ahead of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan in April. But whether this goodwill will last, is quite another matter.
Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University. (Vogel photo: Neoh Kee Leng, Graphic: Jace Yip)

[Video and text] A mountain can have many tigers and every tiger has its own problems

[Video and text] Ezra Vogel, East Asian expert and thinker extraordinaire, shares his views on China, the US, Japan, as well as global trends, in an exclusive interview with Chow Yian Ping, editor of ThinkChina.
The AIIB or ADB? Countries have options. (Brent Lewin/Bloomberg; AIIB)

China's AIIB vs Japan's ADB: Which is more powerful?

ISEAS senior fellow Malcolm Cook does a quick comparison between Asia's two leading multilateral lenders, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Bank and the Japan-led Asian Development Bank. Which is more powerful and influential?    
China's Premier Li Keqiang (C) with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (R) and South Korean President (L) Moon Jae-in at the 8th trilateral leaders' meeting in Chengdu on 24 December 2019. (Wang Zhao/Pool/AFP)

[Outlook 2020] East Asian security in 2020: New year, old challenges

Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun assesses that the East Asian security outlook for 2020 is not very promising, given that overall security in the region has deteriorated on several fronts over the past year. He gives his take on key hotspots in the region — the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait — and sums up major powers’ priorities in the region.
Fireworks at Tiananmen Square during the evening gala of the PRC's 70th anniversary celebrations (Jason Lee/Reuters)

China’s quest for “great nation” status: A view from Japan

Through shows of military, economic and soft power, China seeks to position itself as a great nation. Japanese academic Tomoki Kamo explains why from the view of neighbours such as Japan, China’s actions to achieve its aims are moves to be wary of.
Japan-China relations may face headwinds. (iStock)

Tough times for “improving” Japan-China relations

Despite synergies between Japan and China in the economic and technological spheres, Professor Shin Kawashima, University of Tokyo, argues that the hard line China maintains on security and historical issues will keep ties from warming.
Emperor Naruhito (left) and Empress Masako (right) attend the enthronement ceremony where the emperor officially proclaims his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on October 22, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/POOL/AFP)

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: US, China and Japan

October 22 marked the enthronement ceremony of Japan's new Emperor, Emperor Naruhito. China sent a full state-level representative, Vice President Wang Qishan, while the US sent a ministerial level dignitary, ethnic Chinese minister Elaine Chao to attend the ceremony. This unusual arrangement did not escape the scrutiny of analysts. Beijing researcher Zhang Jingwei cites the Chinese historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms and opines that global dynamics is undoubtedly shifting.