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This book systematically explores the complex dynamics that shape Japan's contemporary relations with China and is the first to offer a theoretically informed examination of why, how, when, and the extent to which nationalism matters in Japan's China policy. Adopting a Neoclassical Realist Model of State Behaviour/Preferences developed for this book, Yew Meng Lai introduces two highly visible bilateral issues as case-studies to test the NCR model, namely the Japanese-Chinese debacle over prime ministerial visits to Yasukuni Shrine, and their multi-dimensional dispute in the East China Sea (ECS), which comprises the Senkaku/Diaoyudao territorial row, Chinese maritime incursions, and bilateral competition for energy resources in the contested waters. These cases are examined in order to address the question of whether nationalism really matters, when, and under what circumstances nationalism becomes most salient, and the extent to which the emotional and/or instrumental dimensions of nationalism manifest most profoundly in Japanese state-elites' policy decision-making. As a study of state behaviours and international outcomes between Japan and China it will appeal to students and scholars of both Japanese and Chinese politics, as well as those interested in international relations, nationalism, foreign policy and security studies more broadly.