The Past and Present of Sino-Japanese Relations: Revisiting the Roles of the US Factor and Historical Legacy and US Factor


Yinan He

Document Type

Book Chapter

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This chapter examines the relative strength and mutual interaction between two distinct forces governing postwar Sino-Japanese relations. First is the structural environment in East Asia, largely defined by the US strategy toward the region. Second is the enduring psychological and emotional shadow cast by the two countries’ history of traumatic conflict. After the Cold War China and Japan have faced a unique structural environment that is neither clearly positive nor clearly negative. Although regional balance of power is more important than before, their relationship continues to be shaped and reshaped by their respective responses to the U.S. policy on the one hand, and their approaches to the historical legacy on the other hand.

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