What’s pushing Japanese firms out of China?

Camera-shopping at a tech mall in Beijing. Japanese multinational companies expect sales in the expanding Chinese domestic market to continue to grow. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Rumi Aoyama, Waseda University

In early 2015, Japanese companies, Panasonic and Toshiba, announced that they would stop producing television sets in China. As Japan continues to decrease its investment in China, the two multinational corporations’ partial exit seemed to underscore an overall trend of Japanese firms withdrawing from China. On 23 February 2015, Nikkei News reported that Citizen Watch Company had suddenly closed down its parts factory in Guangzhou, laying off all 1000 employees there. Read more…

Asian stability hangs in the balance of Japan–China relations

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping with other APEC-nation leaders at the Beijing summit in November 2014. Although China remains in existing international institutions, it has begun its own parallel bodies. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Robert A. Manning, Atlantic Council, and James Przystup, National Defense University

History strongly suggests that the character of relations among major powers is a key determinant of stability. Europe was convulsed in continuous warfare until France and Germany came to terms after World War II. Only then did Europe enjoy the prospects of integration leading to the European Union. Read more…

A Chinese view on fixing the Japan relationship

‘Shooters’ on USS George Washington prepare to launch an E-2C Hawkeye during exercise Talisman Sabre in the Timor Sea in September 2015. Japan joined the US–Australian exercise for the first time. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Zha Daojiong, Peking University

Evidence of a strain in the diplomatic relationship between China and Japan over the past few years has been most apparent in the absence of summits between top government leaders, which has in turn affected routine meetings at the ministerial level. It seems that Beijing still has not overcome its diplomatic ‘Noda shock’. Read more…

Japan and South Korea must foster domestic support for bilateral relations

Members of South Korean conservative groups stage a protest outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on 1 March 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Junya Nishino, Keio University

Many expected Japan–Republic of Korea (ROK) relations to be reset when the Shinzo Abe and Park Geun-hye administrations first came to power, but the past two years or so have seen further deterioration and pessimism.

June 2015 will mark the 50th anniversary of the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two countries, offering a perfect opportunity to construct a shared long-term vision for Japan–ROK relations. Read more…

Japan should influence the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank from within

A businessman passes before a share prices board in Tokyo on 24 February 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Tomoo Kikuchi and Takehiro Masutomo, NUS

Japan should seriously consider joining the new China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), regardless of the scheme’s detractors within the country.

The AIIB was first proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. Beijing signed up 21 founding member nations in October 2014. Read more…

Tough times ahead for China–Japan–South Korea joint FTA

Chinese, Japanese and South Korean officials attend the Fifth Round of China-Japan-Korea FTA Negotiations in Beijing, China, 1 September 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Jing Li, CASS

The fifth round of the China–Japan–South Korea Free Trade Agreement (CJK FTA) negotiations concluded in Beijing on 5 September. The three countries hope the negotiations will finish in 2015, but this partly depends on the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Read more…

Remembrance, reconciliation and the East Asian memory wars


Author: Tessa Morris-Suzuki, ANU

‘The past’, as William Faulkner once wrote, ‘is not dead, it isn’t even past’. Nowhere is this more true than in today’s East Asia. The recent ‘memory wars’ between the countries of the region — particularly (though not exclusively) between Japan and its neighbours China and Korea — are eloquent testimony to the power of the past to haunt the present and influence the course of domestic and international politics. Read more…