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The Rightist Turn in Japanese Politicsand China-Japan Relations

Published:2014-09-10 Published:2014-09-10   Author:Liang Yunxiang   [Small] [Middle] [Big] [More]

Although the rightist turn in Japanese politics has had a negative impact upon China-Japan relations, it is not solely responsible for the deterioration of relations between Beijing and Tokyo. The rightist turn is not simply equal to remilitarization or challenging the postwar international order. In fact, parts of it do not really run against existing international rules or Japanese laws and are instead embraced by Japanese people. Therefore, the rightist turn will stay as a long-term phenomenon. On the surface the current deterioration of China-Japan relations can be attributable to the Diaoyu Island dispute, the historical issue, as well as the rightist turn in Japanese politics, while the deeper cause lies in some structural contradictions, i.e., security dilemma, conflicting national development strategies, relative power balance and worsening feelings toward each other. In conclusion, we should not rest our hope of improving China-Japan relations simply on a reversal of the rightist turn in Japanese politics, but on mitigating the structural contradictions between Beijing and Tokyo while simultaneously recognizing the political reality in Japan and exerting proper influences upon Japanese politics.

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