JIIA Commentary seeks to inform world opinion of Japanese ideas on Japan and international affairs. JIIA Commentary is available on this website and through free subscription.
Series: How Japan Imagines China
No.4 The Odd Couple: Japan and China -The Politics of History and Identity- Haruko Satoh 4 August 2006
The need to arrive at a historical reconciliation has become key to Sino-Japanese relations. This requires a re-examination of how, if at all, peace was established between the two countries. Yasukuni shrine, which has become synonymous with the word obstacle between the two countries, may in fact be the very key to reconciliation. And reconciliation, which is about politics and not history, reveals questions of legitimacy and identity of the ruling party in both countries.
Series: How Japan Imagines China
No.3 How Japan Imagines China and Sees Itself Masaru Tamamoto 31 May 2006
Behind Japan’s hawkish foreign policy and quest for “normal state” lies a concern of the political class that Asian affairs are now propelled by China. The new mood in Japan has its sources in nationalism and history, economic rise and relative decline, pride and recognition; it derives from two societies in the midst of remaking themselves, from the historical difficulty of forging a modus vivendi, and from a tangled web of forces.
Series: Is Japan Re-Entering the World of International Power Politics?
No.2 “We the Japanese People” - A Reflection on Public Opinion - Hikari Agakimi 17 May 2006
Japan is in the midst of a grand social transformation. Political manners, economic rules, patterns of everyday life and international relations are all in flux. However, contrary to what many pundits in Japan claim, recent opinion polls indicate no sign of rising nationalism - a survey finds a generation wanting more rights against the ruling party’s move to impose patriotism and stipulate people’s duties in the constitution.
Series: Is Japan Re-Entering the World of International Power Politics?
No.1 Japanese Discovery of Democracy Masaru Tamamoto 26 April 2006
Against a backdrop of their cold diplomatic relations, Japan and China are competing for moral superiority couched in terms of democracy versus historical justice. However, Tokyo’s talk of democracy and dismissal of China as a dictatorship is more an expression of frustration than a thought out policy as Tokyo struggles to trump Beijing’s history card. Japan’s political class shows impatience for leadership status in the face of China’s rise.