The two giants--Japan and China--in East Asia have been trapped in a negative political relationship for several decades. Even if the normalization of relations was achieved more than forty years ago, the two states have not reached an overall reconciliation. According to the author, it should be the distrust between the two states, which enhanced the crisis of their bilateral relationship. The worse status of trust and the worse relationship, would form a vicious circle that prevents the efforts of confidence building. There would be generally two kinds of trust crisis between Japan and China, which includes strategic issues and moral trustworthiness. The strategic issues would refer to the bilateral distrust on regional affairs that would affect the national power and interests of the two states such as the military rise of China, US-Japan alliance and regional cooperation as well as the disputes. The moral trustworthiness relates to some core controversies such as the historical legacies of war between the two states. Whether China is playing the historical card and whether Japan is eliminating the black history are the crucial focuses in this field, which would involve a comparatively broad discussion on the elements of cultural diversities as well as domestic political leadership of Japan and China. Due to the different main concerns of the two states that China would concentrate more on the moral trustworthiness of Japan while Japan is worried about the strategic trust of China, the two states are stuck in the dilemma without enough compromises.
Shi Chen, Durham University, UK
Stream: Comparative Studies of Asian and East Asian Studies
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