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Kawashima Shin
How to Read Taiwan’s Recent Elections: A New Administration at a CrossroadsKawashima Shin

On January 16, 2016, voters in Taiwan went to the polls to select a new president and legislators. Tsai Ing-wen, head of the Democratic Progressive Party, won the presidency, receiving more votes than the combined total for her two main opponents, Eric Chu (Chu Li-luan) of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT, Nationalist Party), and James Soong of the People First Party. The DPP also scored a major victo…
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The Year Ahead in East Asia: China’s Regional Vision and Domestic PoliticsKawashima Shin

Looking back over the past year, one major issue of contention in East Asia during 2015 was history. It was a year of various major historical anniversaries—70 years since the end of World War II, 50 years since the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, and 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War. And naturally enough, the moves that were made to mark these anniv…
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Japan’s Options in Countering China’s Maritime PushKawashima Shin

China appears to be pushing harder to secure its interests in the East and South China Seas since Xi Jinping became general secretary of the Communist Party of China in November 2012. Indeed, many foreign policy experts in China note that Xi will be less likely to compromise on territorial or maritime issues than his predecessor, Hu Jintao. Previous CPC leaders like Jiang Zemin (1989–2002) an…
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Assessing the “Historic” China-Taiwan Summit and Its Implications for JapanKawashima Shin

On November 7, 2015, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and President Ma Jing-yeou of the Republic of China (Taiwan), held what was widely reported as a “historic” summit meeting in Singapore. It was the first such meeting between the leaders of the PRC and ROC. By way of background, in 1946, following the end of World War II, a full-scale civil war broke out between the f…
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The Long Road to Reconciliation in East AsiaKawashima Shin

The seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II is now the subject of much discussion. Here in Japan the media has been full of references to four terms in this connection: “aggression,” “colonial rule,” “deep remorse,” and “apology.” These are key terms regarding Japan’s actions in the years before and during World War II that appeared in the statements issued by Prime Minister Murayama T…
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Hong Kong and Beijing: Demands for Democracy vs. State SecurityKawashima Shin

The “Umbrella Movement” in Hong Kong was a hot media topic in 2014. Also called the “Umbrella Revolution” and “Occupy Central,” this was a popular movement by Hong Kong people seeking to have their voices reflected more directly in the government of the Special Administrative Region. More specifically, people were protesting the move by Beijing to restrict the field of candidates in the election…
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Japan-China Relations in 2015: The Balancing Act ContinuesKawashima Shin

This year, which marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, will be a time of challenge for the Japan-China relationship. The period from now through this summer will present a number of touchstones for the improvement of bilateral ties. Needless to say, historical issues continue to be a sticking point. But since last November’s bilateral summit between Prime Minister Abe S…
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Looking Ahead to the 2015 Round of Historical AnniversariesKawashima Shin

Years that end in 5 have been the occasion of many key events in Japan’s modern history. Just to cite a few prominent examples, the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed in 1895, ending the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95. Ten years later, in 1905, the Russo-Japanese war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth. World War II ended with Japan’s defeat in 1945. In 1955, the Liberal Democratic Pa…
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Japanese Studies Overseas: A Target for More Strategic SupportKawashima Shin

The field of Japanese studies in other countries is currently undergoing a major transformation in various respects. I would like to offer a quick overview of the concerns this raises based on what I have heard from researchers and academics working in this field. First of all, the focus of interest is rapidly shifting away from topics like literature and economic affairs to “soft culture” to…
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Responding to History: Considering Japan’s Options for Next Year’s War AnniversaryKawashima Shin

This year is the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, and we have put together a special series of articles to mark the occasion. The 1914–18 war was a milestone for Japan along its way to becoming a truly first-class power in East Asia. But some of the events of this period cast a long shadow on relations between Japan and China, notably the Twenty-One Demands that Japan pressed on the Ch…
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