Professor Ezra F. Vogel begins his new book on China and Japan in the sixth century when the Japanese adopted basic elements of Chinese civilization. Throughout the ensuing centuries, China generally took the leading role. Tables turned by the end of the 19th century, when Japan’s modernization efforts surpassed those of China, leading to Japanese victory in the 1895 Sino-Japanese war. Despite recent efforts to promote trade and even tourism, the bitter legacy of World War II has made cooperation difficult.
In China and Japan: Facing History, Dr. Vogel argues that the two nations must forge a new relationship as the world confronts transnational issues including climate change, disaster relief, global economic development, and scientific research. Without acknowledging and ultimately transcending the frictions of the past and present, tense relations between China and Japan jeopardize global stability.
On September 4, 2019, Dr. Ezra Vogel presented his findings on how the history of Sino-Japanese relations informs the present, and on the need for a reset for the future.