Asan Plenum

Panel: Could Be Worse? China-Japan Relations
Date/Time: April 29, 2015 / 13:30-14:45

Moderator: Jane Perlez, The New York Times

Chen Ping, Global Times English Edition
Bonnie Glaser, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Kato Yoichi, The Asahi Shimbun
Kim Heung-Kyu, Ajou University

Panel Description

When Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe awkwardly shook hands on the sidelines of last year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Beijing, it marked a small but significant breakthrough in China-Japan relations. The rocky relationship between Asia’s two superpowers had almost completely broken down in recent years over historical and territorial disputes, including fears of a possible military clash over the contested Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. For now, it seems the two sides are trying to avoid unnecessarily escalating tensions further. Nonetheless, Japan has made clear it views China’s rise with great apprehension and is willing to work with the U.S. in containing it. China, for its part, continues to pressure Japan to come clean of its past. Prudent management of China-Japan relations is essential to maintaining stability in Asia. What can the U.S. do to mitigate the risks of a return to great power conflict?