Political survival and the Yasukuni controversy in Sino-Japanese relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a reinterpretation of Japan's responses toward China's pressure over the Yasukuni issue. It is generally taken for granted that Japan's official responses to China's pressure over the issue are determined by the personality of individual leaders, the emergence of Japanese conservative nationalism and the calculations of Japan's national interests with regard to China's strategic role. With the examination of two cases during the Koizumi and Abe administrations between 2001 and 2007, this paper offers an alternative interpretation by highlighting the rationality of individual political actors and the primacy of domestic political survival. The article suggests domestic political legitimacy of individual leaders is a vital factor that affects Japan's official responses to China's pressure over the Yasukuni issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-548
Number of pages22
JournalPacific Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1



  • China
  • Japan
  • Political survival
  • Sino-Japanese relations
  • Yasukuni controversy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this