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

SOUTH KOREA JAPAN PROTESTS

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…

Sino–Japanese relations 120 years after the war

APTOPIX Japan Military

Author: Liu Jiangyong, Tsinghua University

The year 2014 marks 120 years since the First Sino–Japanese War. While the two nations have enjoyed several decades of peace, there is an uneasy feeling in China that recent developments and revisions to the Japanese constitution draw parallels with the decade prior to 1894. Read more…

Asian cooperation hanging on a handshake

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and other regional leaders look on as China’s President Xi Jinping shakes hands with former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at last year’s APEC meeting in Indonesia. This year there is intense focus on the APEC opportunity to begin to fix the political relationship between China and Japan. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The APEC summit is just over a week away and all stops are out in Beijing to make it an economic and diplomatic triumph, despite the huge underlying challenges in managing China’s relations with the region. The primary goals and foundations of APEC are economic — delivering on Asia’s economic development ambitions within the framework of the rules-based global economic system. Read more…

China–Japan relations: creating a ‘sea of peace, cooperation and friendship’

Yasuo Fukuda and Hu Jintao, authors of the Principled Consensus between China and Japan. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sourabh Gupta, Samuels International

Tensions in the East China Sea over the contested Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dominate manoeuvring around the upcoming meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at the APEC summit. Read more…