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Japan ties set to improve despite twists and turns

China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-09 07:00
Shi Yu/China Daily

Editor's note: This year marks the 40th anniversary of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Eleven Chinese and Japanese experts share their views on China-Japan relations with China Daily. Excerpts follow:

Guard against negative forces

Photo/China Daily

To mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Beijing and Tokyo are making all-out efforts to put bilateral ties back on the right track. And the signs of a rapprochement between the two Asian powers have added a new dynamism to cooperation in East Asia.

Despite the positive trend, however, there remain some undercurrents that could hamper the smooth development of China-Japan relations, of which the most prominent is the Taiwan question. China and Japan reached a consensus on the Taiwan question 46 years ago, which formed an important part of their joint statement in September 1972. But certain Japanese politicians still hold on to their wrong notions, causing trouble for bilateral ties.

In recent years, some pro-Taiwan politicians in Japan have chosen to echo the appeals of "Taiwan independence" forces to foment trouble. For example, they seek to change the names of unofficial agencies established by Japan and Taiwan on both sides, explore the possibility of "military cooperation" with the island and promote a Japanese version of the "Taiwan relations act."

Such undercurrents, in the name of making efforts to "expand Japan's national interests and promote Japan's position in the regional security landscape", are essentially a misjudgment of the regional situation, which has harmed Sino-Japanese relations and general cooperation in East Asia, and put Japan in a strategically passive position.

At a time when Sino-Japanese ties are warming up, both countries should take effective measures to guard against such negative trends and protect the hard-won positive momentum so as to bring more dividends to the people on both sides and strengthen regional security.

Yang Mingjie is director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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