Sino-Ja­pan ties see progress

China’s em­bassy hosts Abe at an­niver­sary event

Global Times - - Front Page - By Zhao Yusha

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween China and Ja­pan has im­proved re­cently though more sin­cer­ity should be seen from the Ja­panese govern­ment for longterm, sus­tain­able ties be­tween the two Asian gi­ants, Chi­nese ex­perts noted Thurs­day, one day be­fore the 45th an­niver­sary of the nor­mal­iza­tion of Ja­pan-China diplo­matic ties.

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe at­tended an event com­mem­o­rat­ing the 45th an­niver­sary of the nor­mal­iza­tion of Ja­pan-China diplo­matic ties at the Chi­nese Em­bassy in Tokyo Thurs­day, the first time a Ja­panese prime min­is­ter has at­tended such an event in 15 years.

Dur­ing the event, Abe said he ex­pected a di­a­logue be­tween the lead­ers of the two coun­tries to pro­mote the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ships, Ky­odo News Agency re­ported.

Cheng Yonghua, Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to Ja­pan, said that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries is on a sta­ble path of im­prove­ment de­spite var­i­ous com­pli­cat­ing fac­tors.

Speak­ing at a news con­fer­ence in Tokyo Tues­day, Cheng noted the lack of po­lit­i­cal trust be­tween the two sides, as bi­lat­eral re­la­tions face chal­lenges of sovereignty and his­tory.

“The big­gest prob­lems that are hurt­ing bi­lat­eral re­la­tions are Ja­pan’s at­ti­tude to­ward his­tory and ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes,” said Gao Hong, deputy di­rec­tor with the In­sti­tute of Ja­panese Stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences.

De­spite the Ja­panese govern­ment’s big­otry in deny­ing his­tory and high-level of­fi­cials’ con­stant vis­its to the no­to­ri­ous Ya­sukuni Shrine, the Ja­panese pub­lic and me­dia’s at­ti­tude to­ward his­tory is chang­ing, he said.

In Au­gust, The Truth of Harbin Unit 731 was re­leased by Ja­panese pub­lic broad­caster NHK. It re­vealed the out­ra­geous crimes com­mit­ted by Unit 731, a covert bi­o­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal war­fare re­search unit of the Im­pe­rial Ja­panese Army dur­ing World War II, trig­ger­ing heated dis­cus­sions among Ja­panese au­di­ences.

More Ja­panese youth are learn­ing Chi­nese and their at­ti­tudes to­ward his­tory are grad­u­ally chang­ing as more peo­ple are will­ing to ad­mit the truth, said 27-year-old Chi­nese David Zhang, who has been work­ing in Ja­pan for five years.

Cheng noted that more Ja­panese have pos­i­tive views on China’s Belt and Road ini­tia­tive, and some Ja­panese en­ter­prises have al­ready co­op­er­ated with Chi­nese part­ners on in­fra­struc­ture and lo­gis­tics projects.

Though bi­lat­eral ties are com­pli­cated, they should be main­tained in a sta­ble man­ner, not only be­cause it is of vi­tal im­por­tance to the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion, but also be­cause both coun­tries are im­por­tant trade part­ners, said Lü Yaodong, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Ja­panese Stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences.

Ja­pan is China’s big­gest for­eign in­vestor while China is Ja­pan’s ma­jor for­eign mar­ket, Cheng said.

“To push for­ward bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, the Ja­panese govern­ment should show their sin­cer­ity and that they no longer view China as an en­emy but as a friendly neigh­bor who of­fers mu­tual ben­e­fits,” Lü noted.

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