Sino-Japan ties to keep steady

By Yuen Yeuk-laam and Li Ruohan Source:Global Times Published: 2015-10-15 0:48:02

Sensitive issues won’t be avoided: analysts

China and Japan are expected to improve bilateral ties while not evading sensitive disputes, analysts said after Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday in Tokyo.

Based on their respective national interests, experts believe that the two countries need to make progress in their relations, despite many conflicts which they say cannot be solved all at once.

During a meeting with Abe, Yang asked Japan to acknowledge history, and refuted Abe's claim that the world should not "excessively focus on our unfortunate past history."

Yang said there are already "established views" about World War II. "It is important to firmly acknowledge history and move toward the future," he was quoted by the Kyodo News Agency as saying on Wednesday.

Abe also expressed regrets to China over the decision to register its "documents of the Nanjing Massacre" in a UN cultural agency program.

"I believe we should not excessively focus on our unfortunate past history, but that we should build future-oriented Japan-China relations," Abe told Yang in Tokyo.

Analysts said Abe's attitude shows that the core contradiction between China and Japan has not been solved despite the fact that both sides are eager to develop friendly ties.

"Japan's refusal to acknowledge historical facts shows a structural problem between China and Japan and it is not easy to resolve," Zhou Yongsheng, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying stressed on Tuesday that the Nanjing Massacre was an atrocity that was committed by the Japanese during WWII, which is a historical fact acknowledged by the international community even as the Japanese side stubbornly clings to its wrong outlook.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of Japan's New Komeito Party, bearing a letter from Abe to the Chinese President Xi Jinping, is expected to meet with Xi on Thursday, the Kyodo News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Lian Degui, deputy director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, told the Global Times that "holograph letters" were adopted by Japan to promote diplomacy in the 1980s.

A Japanese media professional told the Global Times that although Abe holds a right-wing stance on historical issues, he still hopes to enhance Sino-Japanese ties. Save economic concerns, more important reasons are that the Japanese do not expect consistent conflicts, the source said.

Meanwhile, China and Japan on Wednesday agreed on the early launch of a maritime communication mechanism to prevent unintended clashes.

"The mechanism would help improve Sino-Japanese ties as it could reduce misjudgment over maritime conflicts, particularly in the East China Sea," Hu Lingyuan, a professor from the Japan Research Center at Fudan University, told the Global Times. However, Hu warned that China has to stay alert to Japan's deliberate incitement because the establishment of the mechanism could not prevent all contradictions.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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