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The Dragon’s Shadow: The Rise of China and Japan’s New Nationalism

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The era of Friendship Diplomacy between Japan and China began in aftermath of Tokyo’s defeat in World War II and both countries’ economic prostration. The Friendship Trope flourished so long as Japan maintained a penitent and conciliatory policy towards China and abjured militarism, and China and remained dependent on Japanese aid, investment and trade. The Friendship era’s collapse in the late 1990s roughly coincided with the end of the Cold War, the bursting of Japan’s economic bubble, and Tokyo’s emerging sense of threat from a rising China and North Korea’s missiles and nuclear capability. Prime Minister Abe has moved quickly to reestablish normal relations with both Beijing and Seoul, but the fact that his revisionist-nationalist agenda is generally in keeping with the national mood raises serious questions about the future stability of Northeast Asia and the US-Japan alliance.

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