Der er en udmærket artikel i The American, der hedder “Make Way for Japan“.
Artiklen viser, hvordan Japan de seneste år har stået i skyggen af det på alle måder voksende Kina, og hvordan landet med Junichiro Koizumi og hans efterfølger Shinzo Abe, har reformeret sig ud af 1990ernes mørke hul, så den japanske økonomi i dag er dobbelt så stor som den kinesiske.
Artiklen kommer også ind på det mildt sagt anstrengte forhold mellem Kina og Japan, og hvordan de to lande er tvunget til at indgå et fornuftsægteskab:
But leaders of both countries recognize that they need each other too much to let nationalist sentiment get out of hand. China’s assembly factories provide crucial profits for Japan’s major corporations, and Chinese goods are among the products enticing Japanese consumers to start buying again. In turn, the manufacture of sophisticated Japanese components is helping drag Chinese industry up the value chain, and Japanese investment and markets are highly prized. Each country is the other’s biggest source of imports. As of spring 2007, China has become Japan’s biggest trading partner, knocking the United States out of a position it had held since the end of World War II.
It’s not surprising then that the most successful initiative of Shinzo Abe’s regime—both in terms of the actual outcome and the Japanese public response—has been his effort to mend ties with China. Koizumi was effectively blacklisted diplomatically by Beijing; Abe made the Chinese capital his first destination as prime minister last October and was received with considerable relief and respect, if not outright enthusiasm. China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, made a reciprocal visit to Japan in April of this year, announcing that if Abe had broken the ice, then he was melting it.
If serious conflict does develop between the neighbors, the cause will probably be competition for energy, particularly oil. China Daily has written: “Japan would rather cooperate with Europe and the U.S., which both have huge oil stocks, rather than partner with China over energy. That automatically pits Japan against China.”
:: Via Arts and Letters Daily