From the International Herald Tribune (link):
Call it displacement, call it rise and fall, or trading places, or what have you, there is something hugely important taking place in East Asia – a palpable shift in the relative positions of Japan and China.
Sure, you can see this shift in the statistics, which show Chinese trade to be ever more critical for Japan – 21 percent of Japanese total commerce, ahead of trade with the United States. Japanese trade with China, meanwhile, is huge, but shrinking as a portion of the Chinese booming overall trade.
To truly appreciate what is going on, though, you’ve got to feel it, and that is best done through the lives of the two countries’ second cities: Shanghai and Osaka.