September 22, 2005

Koizumi Landslide: The China Factor

The danger ahead, then, is the momentum that an increasingly strong, bold, nationalistic premier would add to what seems like an increasingly possible collision course between China and Japan as they vie for the spot of East Asia's preeminent power. Despite increasing economic interdependence, Japan and China seem to be driven more by passion and animus than economic rationality. Status, prestige, and pride are proving dangerous bedfellows for two nations consecutively vying for more regional predominance and maritime control. Although the inevitability of such a collision is far from assured, the months and years ahead will prove to be formative ones not only on Japan's domestic political culture, but on the implications for East Asian stability, as well.

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