Akio Takahara

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Détente for China and Japan

That empty expression President Xi Jinping of China made when he shook hands with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan was his blandest face of the entire APEC summit last month. It was their first meeting, and it lasted only 25 minutes.

And yet it was a turning point in relations between China and Japan, especially after renewed tensions over the East China Sea islands that both states claim as their own — known as the Senkaku in Japanese, and the Diaoyu in Chinese. In fact, the Chinese government had expressed such an outcry over that disagreement in recent months that it would need quite a good excuse to justify to the Chinese public having any direct contact with Japan’s prime minister.…  Seguir leyendo »