Japan’s Coming China Reckoning

“Japan’s China Policy — Engagement, but for How Long?
Victoria Tuke
German Marshall Fund of the United States
May 29, 2012

Japan’s political system tends to place a premium on postponing tough decisions. One such decision, argues Warwick Ph.D. candidate Victoria Tuke, cannot be put off for much longer: the nature of Japan’s relationship with an emerging China.

Tuke argues for a strategy that balances Beijing and Washington without taking sides. It is a persuasive argument and one that Fredrick the Great would have appreciated.

One could argue that Japan in the past has shown little inclination to stand twixt two giants, but this is not the core challenge with Tuke’s thesis. Rather, the question is whether Beijing’s actions – unlikely to be friendly to Japan – will permit Japan to strike such a balance.

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