China Policy Institute Blog

China’s military parade is an error of judgement

Written by Steve Tsang. Whenever the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) departs from routine protocol, it is usually highly significant. Today’s military parade in Beijing, which marks 70 years since the defeat of Japan in the Second World War, is no exception. It is only China’s fourth military parade since the Mao era; it is the …

The 70th Anniversary of Japan’s surrender

Written by Hans Van de Ven. On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced in his first ever radio broadcast that he had instructed his cabinet ‘to communicate to the governments of the USA, UK, China, and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration’. This was the Potsdam Declaration in which …

Abe’s Subtle Apology: Can It Help Japan Become ‘Normal’?

Written by Niv Horesh. Visitors to Japan can feel this is a country undergoing an identity crisis. After more than two decades of economic stagnation, falling birth rates and unstable governments, the Japanese have slowly become accustomed to the notion that the heady 1980s are long gone. Back then, amid a real estate and stock …

The Abe Statement and the politics of war memory in Japan

Written by Edward Vickers. Since the mid-1990s, successive Japanese premiers have issued expressions of regret for wartime aggression and colonialism. Nevertheless, anti-Japanese nationalism in China and South Korea has reached new heights. Hardly surprising, then, that apology fatigue has set in. Channeling this sentiment in his August 14 statement, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo stated, ‘We must …

From Cairo to Chongqing: Global vs. Local Histories of the Second Sino-Japanese War in the PRC

Written by Adam Cathcart and Wankun Li. Urged on by Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its arts, scholarship, and regional bureaucracies have gone into overdrive to shape a new version of China’s history during World War II. As the 3 September “Victory Day” march in Beijing approaches, the film The Cairo Declaration has …

Abe’s statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and Sino-Japanese relations

Written by Karl Gustafsson. On 14 August, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered his long anticipated statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. For months, scholars and pundits have speculated about whether Abe would use words such as “apology”, aggression and regret. Would the statement reflect the revisionist views that he has …

70 Years of ‘Cold Peace’ and ‘Cold War’ in East Asia Coming to an End?

Written by Christian Wirth. 70 years passed since Emperor Hirohito declared Imperial Japan’s surrender and ended what is often referred to as The Pacific War.  25 years passed since the Soviet Union’s disintegration ended the global confrontation between the US-led ‘West’ and the Soviet-led ‘East’, commonly referred to as the Cold War. Yet even in this …

Taiwan and the Diaoyutai Spat: Is All that Noise Really Necessary?

Written by J. Michael Cole. If a few years ago you had asked people outside the region whether they had ever heard about the Diaoyutai islets, or the Senkakus as they are known in Japan, the likely answer would be that they had not. That this is no longer the case is in large part due …

China, Japan and the Media: The Politics and Business of Selective Remembering

Written by Wanning Sun. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of China’s ‘War against the Japanese Invasion’. It may therefore be an opportune moment to reflect on how the politics of remembering plays out in the Chinese media. Twenty years ago, while doing research for my doctoral dissertation (which was concerned with how …

Don’t Blame Abe…Help Him!

Written by Zhiqun Zhu Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been portrayed as a staunch nationalist bent on revising Japan’s pacifist Constitution. From visiting the Yasukuni Shrine to his claim that “invasion” is not clearly defined internationally, from pressuring McGraw-Hill to revise a history textbook, to beefing up Japan’s military power, Abe has repeatedly demonstrated …