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Sino-Japanese trust key to Asia-Pacific: Editorial flash

By Zhang Zhouxiang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-04-01 03:52

It’s too soon to tell if the relationship between China and Japan is warming after a cold period, though the planned visit of Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa indicates it is moving in that direction.

The newly established direct-telephone line between the two nations’ defense departments shows intention toward regional peace and stability.

It was as early as 2007 that the two nations first agreed to establish such as communications link, yet for more than 15 years it was still only in the planning stage, which makes its launch on Friday especially significant.

Japan’s defense policy has long perceived a possible “threat from the southwest”, or the direction of China. It has reinforced its military numbers based in islands nearest to China, and updated its defensive capabilities.

US policies have driven a wedge between China and Japan via the Diaoyu Islands territorial dispute, which has led Japan to intervene in the Taiwan question, which is purely China’s domestic affair.

With the opening of the telephone hotline, the two sides demonstrate their sincere intention to control any possible crisis, while the extension of high-level exchanges can prove effective in preventing the worst.

With improvements in political dialogue, China and Japan can work toward recovering mutual trade volume that dropped last year, laying the platform for improved mutual trust.

To put its relationship with China on the right track, Japan needs to recognize that a sincere neighbor in need is more important than a hegemonic ally 10,000 kilometers away, as well as admit to the absurdity of pleasing the latter at the cost of its ties with the former.

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