A Chinese warship’s visit to Japan on Wednesday — the first such port call since World War Two — will be a striking symbol of a thaw in Sino-Japanese ties, but few expect smooth sailing in relations between the Asian rivals.
Tokyo and Beijing first agreed to reciprocal warship visits seven years ago, but China cancelled a planned port call in 2002 after then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine, seen in China as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.
Bilateral ties, long plagued by bitter Chinese memories of Japan’s wartime invasion and partial occupation, grew frigid during Koizumi’s five-year term but began to thaw after his successor Shinzo Abe‘s ice-breaking visit to Beijing last year. [Full Text]
Read also PLA vessel of peace, friendship to Japan by Yang Yi from China Daily.