China Policy Institute Blog

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 …

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 …

Japan’s way of remembering World War II still infuriates its neighbours

Written by Sarah Hyde. The two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945 have left the country with a legacy of victimhood unique in human history – and uniquely codified in law. In early 1946, US General Douglas MacArthur brought in his staff to write the country’s new Constitution and sanctioned on May 3 1947, …

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 …

Sir David Warren on Japan/China relations

Sir David Warren is the recent former British Ambassador to Japan (2008-12). Here is the video of a talk he gave at Nottingham last week.

Ma’s Peace Initiative and Taiwan’s Diaoyutai Debate

By Michal Thim. The ROC (hereafter Taiwan) President Ma Ying-jeou’s East China Sea Peace Initiative came at time of heightened tensions between Japan and the PRC (hereafter China), and to a certain extent also between Taiwan and Japan. It was announced on August 5, 2012 and implementation guidelines were subsequently released on September 6 on the occasion …

Stranded on the Islands: Why China and Japan’s Clash over Maritime Claims Is a Problem, But a Soluble One

By Kerry Brown. Here is the quandary. Two major economies on which the world depends for future stability and growth have had a difficult history with each other and tetchy political relations. Add to this that they are both politically and socially cultures that have huge issues with public face and reputation, in which backing …

China-Japan special issue

In a region characterized by economic dynamism and strategic complexity, relations between Northeast Asia’s two economic giants are more fraught with tensions and contradictions than any other dyad. Economic complementarities have succeeded in muting historical distrust to a point, but the evolving Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute, in addition to the real danger of strategic missteps, reveals intense, longstanding …