Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Japan - China Relations: The Infinite Hedge

The emerging picture of the United States as a weak link in Asia may have helped resurrect Shinzo Abe's Indo-Pacific Quad, but bandwagons still need to be balanced

Is Japan Ready for the Quad? Opportunities and Challenges for Tokyo in a Changing Indo-Pacific [War on the Rocks]: Several political and diplomatic obstacles remain in the way of Kasumigaseki's full commitment to the four-party conference, apart from a flailing Washington. This includes continuing domestic opposition to expanding the scope of the SDF, effects of Beijing pushback, and the question of who picks up the slack if the US can't or won't reassert herself

Japan, China to mend ties on tenuous foundation in 2018[Kyodo]: Much like India, Japan still has to balance economic ties with China with strategic imperatives. Both Abe and Xi have solid enough domestic support to work on strengthening the former with initiatives like joint Belt and Road projects. History is becoming less likely to force the latter, but there are still more than enough present concerns, not the least being North Korea

Stop pleading for Xi to visit Japan [Japan Times]: This year marks the 40th year of formal peace between China and Japan, making outreach a softer sell at home for Xi. Meanwhile, domestic politics drive Abe's pivot. Xi has more time on his side

Can Tokyo traverse 2018’s geopolitical tightrope between Beijing and Taipei? [South China Morning Post]: Will the promise of Panda Bonds force the abandonment of an already well-developed relationship with Taiwan?

Japan’s Abe ‘keeping enemies close’ by offering joint Africa development projects to China [South China Morning Post]: Preserving opportunities in Africa's Growth Ring are another motivation for rapprochement

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