Hu Jintao's Japan Visit: Truce, Not Reconciliation


John H. Miller

Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 16


Washington, D.C.: East-West Center

Publication Date: May 13, 2008
Binding: electronic
Pages: 2
Free Download: PDF


PRC President Hu Jintao's May 6-10 visit to Japan--the first by a Chinese head of state in a decade--was designed by Tokyo and Beijing to be the capstone of their two-year effort to repair their troubled political relationship. To many observers, that the trip occurred at all was an indicator of warming relations between the two East Asian giants, signaling the start of a more forward-looking partnership. In this analysis, John H. Miller places the visit in historical context and argues that while there are certainly signs for optimism in Sino-Japanese relations, so too are there reasons to be cautious. A latent tension in nationalisms--which involves questions of national identity, pride, and integrity--may prevent the temporary goodwill established by Hu's visit from evolving into more genuine reconciliation.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the East-West Center or any organization with which the author is affiliated.