Traditionally, China was one of Japan's major trading partners; since WW II, relations between the two Asian powers have been limp at best. Lee analyzes both the course of those external relations and the political alignments in Japan that contributed to the standoff. While the book does not assume that a vast increase in Sino-Japanese trade is necessarily possible or beneficial to both countries, it shows that trade and political ties would have been consolidated had Japan modified its pro-American position on the question of Chinese admission to the United Nations. On the Chinese side, the ebb in Chinese openness to trade with Japan appears to have been caused by the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution--with their attendant economic chaos--rather than considerations of diplomacy. Relations were largely normalized after Nixon's 1972 visit to China, despite Maoist demands that trading companies recite Red Book maxims, sing Cultural Revolution songs, and exert pressure against non-Maoist left-wing groups in Japan. The China question has become a major issue both among Japanese parties and within them; Lee uses the issue to describe the country's factional lineups. A dry but usefully detailed academic reference.