China / View

Japan should treasure historic change in relations

By Niutanqin (China Daily) Updated: 2019-10-29 07:36

Editor's Note: At the 15th opening ceremony of the Beijing-Tokyo Forum, held in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech, saying China and Japan are shouldering increasingly important joint responsibilities and common missions, as both have become key regional influencers. Columnist Niutanqin comments in a WeChat post:

In his speech, Wang said the interests of China and Japan have never been so widely and deeply integrated, and the development of the two countries has never been so directly and closely linked as today.

The data back this up. China and Japan now have a bilateral trade volume exceeding $300 billion, 12 million person-times of personnel exchanges every year, more than 1,000 direct flights per week and more than 250 pairs of sister cities.

At a time when China-Japan relations are undergoing important and positive changes, the international situation is undergoing major and profound adjustments and the world is once again at a crossroad, the two countries should establish a higher level of political mutual trust.

As Wang said, they should carry out higher-quality, mutually beneficial cooperation, promote more cultural exchanges, play a more active and leading role in the region, build more constructive security relations, and strengthen their strategic coordination.

The ups and downs Sino-Japanese relations have undergone in the past decades are inseparable from Japan's stance on history and Taiwan. Relations between the two have finally come out of their low point, but the possibility cannot be ruled out that one day relations will once again sour sharply due to provocative moves from Japan. This requires the two countries, especially Japan, to be mindful of the sensitivity of these issues.

Wang thus urged Japan to comply with the principles enshrined in the four political documents between the two countries, especially Tokyo's commitment to the correct understanding of history and Taiwan.

As the most important event in Sino-Japanese relations in 2020, President Xi Jinping is due to pay a state visit to Japan next spring, which, if smoothly realized, will mark the first official visit by a Chinese head of state to Japan in 12 years. This is a reflection of the two countries' determination to push bilateral relations forward. So the two countries should make joint efforts to create a positive atmosphere for the visit.

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