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While many people were expecting relations between China and Japan to take a turn for the better, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shut the door on the possibility. During a debate with the leaders of eight Japanese political parties on June 28, he said he "refused the condition set by China" for a summit with the Chinese side.
It is not difficult to guess that the dispute over the islands in the East China Sea, which are known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan, is the issue involved. China expects Japan to return to the shared recognition that there is a territorial dispute over the islets.
Abe knows that the leaders of the two countries agreed to shelve the dispute so that they could normalize the diplomatic relations in 1972. However, he and his government have disavowed that consensus reached by past leaders, and they insist that no territorial dispute exists between the two countries.