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With a nod to Ezra Vogel, who appears later in this newsletter, five articles on that most fraught of relationships — the one between China and Japan:

  • Japan is alarmed by a new Chinese law that allows the country’s coast guard to use force against foreign parties violating what Beijing considers its sovereignty and jurisdiction. Tokyo is now bracing for possible Chinese military action in the East China Sea, where tensions are running high over the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands.
  • Britain’s brief love affair with China under former PM David Cameron now seems a distant memory, and the U.K. now shares Japan’s view on the dangers of Beijing’s rise. The time has come for the two island nations to further align their diplomatic, economic and security interests, argues Yuka Koshino in a commentary.
The Militarization of the South China Sea | BLOOMBERG QUICKTAKE
The Militarization of the South China Sea | BLOOMBERG QUICKTAKE
  • China says it wants a positive, cooperative relationship with the new team in Washington. But cooperation is only possible when there is mutual respect and a shared understanding of the rules. Beijing shows neither, writes the JT Editorial Board, as evidenced by its “coercive diplomacy” in the South and East China Seas, and elsewhere around the world.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has made many aware of the vulnerability of supply chains, giving an upper hand to China, which manufactures crucial medical and other products for Japan and much of the world. Reducing the unhealthy dependence on China is imperative, writes Shin Oya, and can be achieved by strengthening cooperation among allies and boosting the power of the WTO.
  • Japan and China are scrambling to build a new type of ultrafast levitating train, seeking to demonstrate their mastery over a technology with big export potential. At stake in the maglev race is a share of the estimated more than $2 trillion global market for rail infrastructure projects.

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