At the East Asia Forum I argue that things are less desperate than they currently seem…for now.
Given that not a whole lot is known about Xi Jinping’s views on Japan, we can only but wonder for the time being. Most indications are that since Xi is pragmatic on most issues then this may also apply to foreign policy. We have seen in Chinese behaviour of the last few weeks that economic stability ultimately means a little more than nationalist posturing, although, perhaps, just.
In any respect it seems that the attitude he takes will have a significant impact upon Japan’s long-term foreign policy evolution. With the Japanese domestic political scene in the new year likely to offer the best opportunities in a long time for political entrepreneurs to perhaps even go as far as amending the constitution, then anything provocative that China may do will likely strengthen those calling for revision to Article 9. More on that issue another day, however.