Book Announcement: The China Problem in Postwar Japan: National Identity and Sino-Japanese Relations

JCRecently published with Bloomsbury Press as part of the series SOAS Studies in Modern and Contemporary Japan, edited by Christopher Gerteis.

Robert Hoppens, The China Problem in Postwar Japan: National Identity and Sino-Japanese Relations, (Bloomsbury Press, March 2015), 298 pages, ISBN: 9781472575463

The 1970s were a period of dramatic change in relations between Japan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The two countries established diplomatic relations for the first time, forged close economic ties and reached political agreements that still guide and constrain relations today. This book delivers a history of this foundational period in Sino-Japanese relations. It presents an up-to-date diplomatic history of the relationship but also goes beyond this to argue that Japan’s relations with China must be understood in the context of a larger “China problem” that was inseparable from a domestic contest to define Japanese national identity.The China Problem in Postwar Japan challenges some common assertions or assumptions about the role of Japanese national identity in postwar Sino-Japanese relations, showing how the history of Japanese relations with China in the 1970s is shaped by the strength of Japanese national identity, not its weakness.

Table of Contents

Part I: The China Problem in Postwar Japan, 1945-70
Chapter 1: The China Problem in Postwar Japanese Foreign Policy
Chapter 2: The China Problem in the Japanese Discourse on National Identity
Part II: The Nixon Shock and the Normalization of Relations, 1971-72
Chapter 3: Diplomacy from the Nixon Shock through the Normalization of Relations
Chapter 4: The China Problem in a New Era
Part III: Anti-hegemony, 1973-76
Chapter 5: Anti-hegemony: Japan and the Sino-Soviet Cold War
Chapter 6: The China Problem in a Time of Crisis
Part IV: Peace and Cooperation, 1977-79
Chapter 7: From the Peace Treaty to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 8: Triumphalism and Alienation: the China Problem Transformed
Epilogue and Conclusion


For more information please see the publisher’s website:

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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