Why Justin Bieber Got Banned from Performing in China

New Yorker
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture issued an injunction against the twenty-three-year-old pop star, Justin Bieber, who was in the middle of a global tour, prohibiting him from performing in China. (On Monday, Bieber announced that he was...

Viewpoint

05.26.16

Why Does Japan’s Wartime Ghost Keep Reemerging?

Friso M.S. Stevens
The ritual offerings made by Japanese Cabinet members and lawmakers at the Yasukuni Shrine in April once again brought Japan’s troubled wartime past back into the spotlight. An all-too familiar routine followed, with Beijing urging Japan to “make a...

Books

04.23.15

Intimate Rivals

Sheila A. Smith
No country feels China’s rise more deeply than Japan. Through intricate case studies of visits by Japanese politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine, conflicts over the boundaries of economic zones in the East China Sea, concerns about food safety, and strategies of island defense, Sheila A. Smith explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China.Smith finds that Japan’s interactions with China extend far beyond the negotiations between diplomats and include a broad array of social actors intent on influencing the Sino-Japanese relationship. Some of the tensions complicating Japan’s encounters with China, such as those surrounding the Yasukuni Shrine or territorial disputes, have deep roots in the postwar era, and political advocates seeking a stronger Japanese state organize themselves around these causes. Other tensions manifest themselves during the institutional and regulatory reform of maritime boundary and food safety issues.Smith scrutinizes the role of the Japanese government in coping with contention as China’s influence grows and Japanese citizens demand more protection. Underlying the government’s efforts is Japan’s insecurity about its own capacity for change and its waning status as the leading economy in Asia. For many, China’s rise means Japan’s decline, and Smith suggests how Japan can maintain its regional and global clout as confidence in its postwar diplomatic and security approach diminishes.—Columbia University Press{chop}

Xi Jinping of China and Shinzo Abe of Japan Meet Amid Slight Thaw in Ties

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The meeting signaled a continued slight warming in otherwise frosty relations between Asia’s two top economies.

Japan’s Abe Avoids Yasukuni Shrine

Anna Fifield
Washington Post
Japanese prime minister skips visit to controversial shrine to war dead in hopes of meeting with China’s Presidnet Xi Jinping.

Media

04.25.14

Bieliebers They Are Not—Chinese Outraged by Singer’s Tokyo Shrine Visit

Justin Bieber has once again displayed his talent for seemingly effortless international gaffes. The twenty-year-old Canadian pop princeling, who last year wrote “hopefully she would have been a Belieber” in the guestbook on his visit to the Anne...

Beijing Turns Cold Shoulder to Japan

Xinhua
Beijing has declared Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “not welcome” by the Chinese people and said Chinese leaders won’t meet him.  

Japanese Premier Visits Contentious War Shrine

Hiroko Tabuchi
New York Times
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan visited a contentious Tokyo war shrine early on Thursday, provoking swift condemnation fromChina and South Korea, both victims of Japan’s wartime aggression.

Japanese visits to shrine on war anniversary anger China

Antoni Slodkowski
Reuters
Japan's prime minister sent an offering to a shrine for war dead on the anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat, drawing harsh complaints from China and South Korea and risking tentative ties...

The Shadow from Yasukuni

Rana Mitter
Project Syndicate
Around this time of year, speculation in Asia always runs high as to whether Japan’s prime minister or other prominent politicians will visit the Yasukuni Shrine to honor, among others, more than a thousand indicted war criminals.

China, Japan Island Spat Resurfaces

Yuka Hayashi
Wall Street Journal
Japan and China faced off anew over a group of disputed islands after visits to a controversial war shrine by Japanese politicians rankled Tokyo’s neighbors, raising concerns that tensions may be returning after a period of relative calm. 

Why They Hate Japan

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
1.Those who think that the Japanese are a little odd will have been confirmed in their prejudice by the behavior of Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro during his June visit to the United States. The social highlight was a trip to Graceland, home of...