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The Sino-Japanese security relationship is in jeopardy of deteriorating further in the years to come, a development that will have strong implications for Northeast Asian security. Identifying factors that can push the relationship in a positive direction toward reconciliation and cooperation is thus an urgent task. This article argues that the worsened Sino-Japanese security relationship is primarily caused by three developments: the end of the cold-war bipolarity, the dramatic development of the Chinese economy and military, and the neglect or failure of the United States to ensure a balance in its security relations with China and Japan. The United States in many ways holds the key to moving the Sino-Japanese security relationship in a positive direction. Perspectives regarding the development of a more constructive U.S. role are discussed.