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.