Managing the Trilateral Relationship

Funabashi Yoichi, Morton I. Abramowitz, Wang Jisi, With Yamamoto Tadashi
Release Date: February 1, 1998

This book features essays on the future of China-Japan-U.S. relations by a leading foreign policy expert from each country. It identifies major causes of conflict in what many believe to be the key triangle in world politics of the 21st century and suggests means to strengthen dialogue and cooperation to manage tensions. The authors discuss a wide range of issues that could affect the trilateral relationship, including territorial disputes, a possible Korean conflict, Taiwan, and the ramifications of globalization. A central question emerges: what is the “glue” that holds the three countries together now that the common strategic threat from the Soviet Union has disappeared?

The authors identify obstacles that inhibit constructive dialogue, such as mutual distrust and misperceptions, and also examine historical and attitudinal factors that affect trilateral interactions. They also look at the way in which regional cooperation may help reduce tensions and improve cooperation.