China, Japan take steps to bury hatchet after 3 years of dispute

BEIJING (TIP): China and Japan have reached an agreement on maintaining peace in the disputed chain of islands in the East China Sea after three years of war mongering. The agreement was reached in Beijing between China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi and the visiting National Security Advisor of Japan, Shotaro Yachi. The new move may also pave the way for the first ever meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Cooperation summit next week.

India and other Asian countries are watching the new move closely because it might have an impact on their territorial disputes with China, sources said. They include Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, which are sending their heads of state to the APEC summit. In Tokyo, Japan’s Abe said, “Both Japan and China are coming to the view that it would benefit not just the two countries but regional stability if a summit is held”.

But China has not yet confirmed that president Xi would meet him. Under the agreement, the two sides said they would prevent the situation around the disputed Diaoyu Islands, which is called Senkaku in Japan, from aggravating with the use of dialogue and consultation. They will establish crisis management mechanisms to avoid contingencies. Japan controls the strategically located islands but China claims ownership of it. They “agreed to gradually resume political, diplomatic and security dialogue through various multilateral and bilateral channels and to make efforts to build political mutual trust”.

Beijing has managed Tokyo to accept that it would abide by the spirit of “facing history squarely and looking forward to the future”. This is a catch phrase of Chinese officials when they demand that Japan should admit the torture of Chinese people by Japanese soldiers during World War II, and tender an apology. The two countries have acknowledged that each has a different positions on the disputed islands and some parts of the East China Sea. Commerce ministers of the two countries agreed to meet during the APEC summit next week indicating a slight improvement in the relationship.

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