Old Version

A New-Era of China-Japan Relations?

Political exchanges between China and Japan appear to be normalizing after many years of diplomatic stand-offs

By Han Bingbin Updated Apr.16

After a rocky few years that have included a diplomatic war of words over islands in the East China Sea, an international studies expert claims political relations between China and Japan have returned to a "normal track" after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on a visit to Japan yesterday. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship, and the visit by China's foreign minister, who will be followed later in the year by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, is a vital step in the improvement of bilateral relations. That's according to Wu Jinan, a senior fellow at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, the Shanghai Observer reports.  

As this year also marks four decades of reform and opening up for China, Chen Zilei, a Japan expert at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, says China and Japan will soon welcome an opportunity for further economic cooperation that could see Japan join China's Belt and Road Initiative.  

The upcoming China-Japan high-level economic dialogue, which will be hosted by the foreign ministers of both nations, will stretch beyond traditional topics to address emerging economic issues, Wu predicts. He believes the two sides will enter more substantial forms of cooperation – including on security – after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits.