China-Japan-US Relations

Morton I. Abramowitz, Yoichi Funabashi, and Wang Jisi
August 2002

Recent events in Asia Pacific underline the pivotal importance of the China-Japan-US relationship for the future evolution of the region. In an important follow-up to their path-breaking 1996 assessment, China-Japan-US: Managing the Trilateral Relationship, leading policy experts from each of the three countries review the underlying challenges confronting the development of this vital triangle.

The international environment has undergone dramatic changes in recent years, and the shifts occurring in Asia Pacific are no less substantial. The region has seen the phenomenal economic growth of China, while Japan continues to hold on to its position as the second largest economy in the world and largest economy in Asia despite its ongoing recession. Concerns have grown in Asia about more pronounced American unilateralism, while uncertainty continues on the Korean peninsula and in China’s relationship with Taiwan. There are also growing concerns about the economic conditions and political stability in Southeast Asia. This changing environment has further challenged the trilateral relationship, and a true “trialogue” remains elusive. Nonetheless, the basic imperatives for deeper cooperation remain essentially unchanged, and this volume offers indispensable insights from three seasoned observers for those wishing to understand the evolving complexities of the China-Japan-US relationship.

Morton I. Abramowitz is senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Funabashi Yoichi is chief diplomatic correspondent and columnist for the Asahi Shimbun. Wang Jisi is director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

This publication was the result of a study on the “China-Japan-US Research and Dialogue Project,” which was carried out as part of the Global ThinkNet Fellows program.


1. Readjusting to the China-Japan-US Relationship: A Chinese Perspective
Wang Jisi, Director, Institute of American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
2. The State of East Asia and the Trilateral Relationship
Morton I. Abramowitz, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
3. Learning from Five Years of Trialogue: Common Standards—Stability, Flexibility, and Balance
Yoichi Funabashi, Chief Diplomatic Correspondent and Columnist for the Asahi Shimbun
Appendix 1. Assessing the Trilateral Relationship: Conference Summary
Amy P. Celico
Appendix 2. Agenda
Appendix 3. Participants
Copyright © 2002 Japan Center for International Exchange. All Rights Reserved.
ISBN 4-88907-041-9; 88 pages; paper