The “carrot andstick” approach between Japanand China may work for now,but Japan’s strategists mustnot delay in formulating alonger-term vision for Japan’srelationship with China.
Young Strategists Forum
Japan’s China Policy —Engagement, but for How Long?
by Victoria Tuke
1744 R Street NWWashington, DC 20009 1 202 745 3950F 1 202 265 1662E email@example.com
Te relationship between Japan andChina has always been politically,economically, and diplomatically complex. Yet its importance or thestability o the region and wider globalsecurity structure necessitates coop-eration. As Asia’s military spendingis set to soon exceed that o Europe,
avoiding tensions and conrontation isessential.At present, Japan is employing bothso and strong techniques to ensurethe relationship remains stable andprosperous. However, looking intothe uture, even just a decade or twoahead, Japan’s long-term strategy rays.It is here policymakers’ attention mustocus.
A Tilt Towards China?
Historically, Japan has taken thestrategic decision to align itsel withthe leading power o the day. AerJapan opened to external inuencesollowing the Meiji Restoration o 1868, alliances were made rst withBritain, then Germany, and nally theUnited States. Japan has proven itsel adept at adjusting to changing power
This prediction was made in March 2012 by theLondon-based International Institute for Strategic Studies(IISS) in their annual “Military Balance 2012” report.http://www.iiss.org/publications/military-balance/#
dynamics. Te question is, as China’seconomy continues to grow and U.S.inuence declines, will Japan join withthe next global hegemon?A hal-century rom now, this mightwell be the path okyo’s policymakersdecide to take but this is unlikely in the near-term. As pointed out by Dan wining in his article, “Chrysan-themum or Samurai,” Japan’s strategiclunges have always served to urtherdomestic objectives and have neverbeen merely a passive acceptance o okyo’s own limitations.
Japan is notsitting back idly. However, in a regionwhere dynamics are rapidly evolving,the need or okyo to show orward-thinking resolve is even more impor-tant.
Strings to Japan’s China Policy
Japan and China’s economies areclosely interlinked. No matter whichstrategy is pursued in the oreignpolicy realm, economic interests wieldsignicant inuence. According tothe latest Ministry o Foreign Aairs(MOFA) declaration between Beijingand okyo, the two governments
Daniel Twining, “Chrysanthemum or Samurai?”
Shadow Government, Foreign Policy,
March 9, 2010, http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/09/chrysan-themum_or_samurai