RELEASE EMBARGO DATE: April 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM
1. China-Japan relations could NOT be worse
(1) It is in its nadir, with no official summit for years. There could be no further downgrade or severance of diplomatic ties.
(2) There are still working-level contacts between the two governments
(3) At the non-government level, anti-Japan sentiments have been reduced greatly. Chinese visitors swarmed into Japan during the Spring Festival holidays.
2. Could the China-Japan ties be improved in the near future? NO
(1) There will be no easy and quick solutions to the problems that have caused Sino-Japanese diplomatic troubles—mainly historical and territorial disputes.
(2) Abe’s confrontational China policy—advocacy of the China threat theory and the arc of freedom and democracy.
a) Value-oriented diplomacy.
(3) International factors
a) Minor part Japan plays in China’s diplomacy (Japan marginalized in China’s grand diplomacy strategy)
b) U.S. role in Sino-Japanese relations
c) Sound Sino-Korean relations (Trilateral FTA vs. Bilateral FTA)
(4) Both governments have to take into consideration their domestic factors.
3. Current affairs that are related to Sino-Japanese relations
(1) Japan trying to revise its pacifist constitution, especially Clause 9.
(2) Japan trying to become a permanent UN SC member and China’s concerns about it.
(3) Japan’s reaction to the celebration of the seventieth anniversary of victory in anti-fascist war (Japanese leader accepts the invitation or not?).
(4) Japan’s attitude toward AIIB.
4. What to do to improve bilateral ties?
(1) Convergence of common interests.
a) This should be respected and taken into consideration.
(2) Try to solve bilateral issues without external interference.
a) Rf: Nixon doctrine: “Asia for the Asians”
(3) Japan should respect and follow the four basic documents that are the guidelines of Sino-Japanese relations (Especially the 1972 Joint Communique, in which Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation is mentioned: “Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the island of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and such minor islands as we determine.” ).
(4) Japan should respect and follow the Instrument of Surrender signed on September 2, 1945: “We hereby undertake for the Emperor, the Japanese Government and their successors to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration in good faith” (In the context of the seventieth anniversary of the end of WWII).
(5) Japan should respond to China’s re-emergence as a regional power properly and accept the reality that there are currently two regional powers in this area.
(6) Joint efforts must be made for crisis management in East China Sea.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.