All posts tagged: Sino-Japanese Relations

On the ‘Cairo Declaration’ Fiasco

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China / Chinese communist party / Chinese nationalism / Cultural Politics / Sino-Japanese Relations / World War II

While the tendency of the CCP to insert itself at the main junctures of Chinese history in the 20th century is anything but new, there has been an increasing alignment with the earlier Republic of China that has been quite pronounced, I would argue, since at least 2005. For the past ten years, scholars have interpreted this (and the inclusion of ROC troops in various war museums) mainly as a means of increasing cross-Straits rapprochement and […]

Old Chapters, New Chapters: The Memory Wars in East Asia

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China / EU-East Asia relations / history and memory / Japan / Sino-Japanese Relations / World War II
Shenyang Trials Case File for Fujita

From the very beginning of the so-called ‘post war,’ the territorial and temporal parameters of the memory wars between China and Japan were never drawn particularly cleanly. The war ended formally in Tokyo Harbour on 3 September 1945, but it took nearly another week for Okamura Yasuji to formally surrender to General He Yingqin at Nanjing. It then took months (in some rare cases, years) for Japanese troops to disengage themselves from the mainland. After […]

Xi Jinping’s Tripod: Updating the National Humiliation Narrative in Nanjing

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history and memory / Sino-Japanese Relations / World War II
Nanking 13 December CCTV image

This essay was originally published at the China Policy Institute Blog at the University of Nottingham on 15 December 2014, under the title ‘Xi Jinping’s Nanking Massacre Commemoration and China’s Anti-Japanese Calendar,’ and is republished here with permission.  2014 has been a banner year for the Chinese Communist Party’s politics of historical commemoration of the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945). As the Party has faced a host of internal challenges to its legitimacy from within and […]

The Shenyang Trials of 1956: Presenting the Resurrection of Defeat in Heidelberg

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Chinese communist party / Japan / Sino-Japanese Relations
Shenyang 2

The University of Heidelberg will be hosting a conference later this month on post-1945 war crimes trials in East Asia, at which I will be presenting. An abstract and bio follow: The Shenyang Trials of 1956: The Resurrection of Defeat  Using now-closed files from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archive and contemporary sources in Chinese, this paper, investigates the role of the Shenyang Trials of 1956 in configuring China’s postwar position and asserting a specifically Chinese […]

New Scholarship on China’s War Against Japan: Rana Mitter and the Wiles Lectures at Queen’s University Belfast

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Rana Mitter is among the most dynamic, productive, and visible historians working on East Asia in the UK today. Dr. Mitter will be delivering a series of uniquely prestigious and endowed lectures in Belfast, at Queen’s University, from 28-31 May of this year. The series title is ‘Fighting Fate: Wartime Society and the Making of Modern China.‘   I’m delighted to have been invited to participate in this event and am looking forward greatly to […]

Sino-Japanese Strife and Accomodation: An Academic View

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Sino-Japanese Relations

Sometimes through all the contemporary hyperventilating, it can be considered an almost extreme position to look for historical context that lies apart from the mainstream narrative of eternal, almost existential, national conflict between China and Japan.  In a recent journal article, two scholars based in Stockholm have taken the steps of looking for that context.  As the abstract explains: For the last four decades Sino-Japanese relations have been characterized by steadily growing economic and sociocultural […]


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East Asian modernity / Environmental Politics in East Asia / history and memory / Huanqiu Shibao / Japan / North Korea-Japan relations / Sino-Japanese Relations / US-Japan relations / World War II

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that thrashed the northeastern Japanese coast has generated a great deal of thinking from me, not much of it coherent or of use to readers.  Thus the silence.  At some point, I would imagine that some discussion of the following questions would emerge: To what extent have regional responses to the catastrophe intensified transnational goodwill?   Does this forceful reminder of natural catastrophe bring about a less nationalistic, more humanistic, outlook […]