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Trump’s trade war is pushing China and Japan closer together

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Japan has long taken a hawkish stance against China's growing influence, but the Asian rivals have recently been working to thaw their relationship after years of tension— in large part because both fear Trump's trade war.

The big picture: The Japanese "still fundamentally see China as the greatest threat to Japan, and they're still deeply reliant on the security relationship with the U.S. [in the East China Sea], but they're hedging," Dan Sneider, an expert on East Asia at Stanford University, tells Axios. "They're accepting the reality that China's going to be a major power, and they also have to hedge against the uncertainty of American foreign policy."