China media cautiously optimistic over Japan ties

Talks aimed to de-escalate potential incidents. 

China media cautiously optimistic over Japan ties

Papers are cautiously optimistic over better China-Japan ties after both countries held talks on maritime security.

The two countries held talks on Monday in Tokyo and agreed to launch a new mechanism aimed at reducing the risk of accidents in the East China Sea.

Ties between the two nations have been strained over rival territorial claims and disputes about Japan’s World War II history.

At the heart of the dispute are islands in the East China Sea which are controlled by Japan, but also claimed by China.

The China Daily says the fact that defence and maritime officials from both sides met “means a lot”. “Neither Beijing nor Tokyo wants to see things worsen further,” states the daily.

“Mutual distrust runs so deep and broad between Beijing and Tokyo that an instant thaw in ties is unrealistic. But any worsening of the relationship may prove damaging to both. The two sides must engage in joint crisis control,” it adds.

Taking a tougher stand, a commentary in the People’s Daily overseas edition urges Japan to “show sincerity” to improve ties.

The article also blames Tokyo for “stirring up trouble” by insisting on its historical views and leaders’ visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which commemorates Japan’s war dead, including convicted war criminals from World War Two.

“Beijing hopes to strengthen communication and understanding with Tokyo to prevent accidents, but Japan always puts its own self-interest as the main goal,” it says.

Military expert Zhang Junshe tells the Global Times’ Chinese edition that Beijing welcomes Tokyo’s willingness to discuss issues, but it will closely watch its “real actions”.


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