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Opinion

Shinzo Abe is redefining Japan's China policy for a generation

In trade, technology and defense, prime minister mixes engagement and wariness

| Japan
Shinzo Abe shakes hands with Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Osaka in June 2019: Japan continues to hedge the risk of China's unilateral attempt to change the regional order by force.   © Reuters

Japan's position in Asia has changed significantly since the end of the Cold War. The most important logistics base for the U.S. then, Japan now finds itself at the forefront of the U.S.-China rivalry, with far less resources at its disposal than it used to have.

While Japan's military spending was more than twice China's at the end of the Cold War, Chinese military spending is now more than five times larger than Japan's. Even though Japan has the third largest economy in the world, China's economy is now two-and-a-half times larger than Japan's.

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