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The relationship between Japan and China extends back more than a millennium but, in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) all that the two countries have borrowed, traded and shared, that relationship could be best summed up as “Intimate Rivals” — the title of Sheila A. Smith’s new book.

Smith, a senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, an American research organization, keeps the focus of her worthy analysis on Japan and China’s recent history, from the period of normalization between the two countries beginning in the 1970s to the present day.

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