China, Japan to resume security talks!

China, Japan to resume security talks!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff


There seems to be some confusion about world peace as its achievement remains an illusion with several key regional conflicts are still elusive of resolution.  The concept of world peace is understood only in relative terms against permanent crises globally..Without resolving major conflicts in the world, like Mideast, South Asia, Asia-Pacific, etc  three seems to be no possibility for any real and credibly sustainable world peace , however.

The conflict between the Asian giants China and Japan is both ideological and territorial. Tensions in relations between China and Japan, due mainly to territorial claims, remain intact but now there seems to be a forward movement from both to reduce frictions by constructive talks.

China and Japan held their first security talks in four years on March 26 and agreed to keep alive and foster a nascent recovery in bilateral ties plagued by the legacy of Japan’s wartime aggression and a territorial dispute. The security meeting involved top officials from the two countries’ foreign and defense ministries, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The last such meeting was in January 2011 in Beijing but the strains in relations and mutual accusations halted the process.

The world’s second- and third-largest economies after the USA, however, failed to set a timetable for the implementation of a scheme designed to ensure real-time communication between their armed forces. Although both sides at the meeting agreed to work to implement the scheme at an early date, no agreement was reached on a concrete schedule toward that goal, the officials said.

Relations between the Asia’s largest economies have been damaged by conflicting claims to a group of tiny East China Sea islands after Tokyo’s illegal nationalization” of China’s Diaoyu Islands in 2012  and the legacy of Japan’s wartime occupation of its larger Asian neighbor. Patrol ships and fighter jets from both countries have shadowed each other regularly near the uninhabited islands that are controlled by Japan, prompting fears that an accidental collision could escalate into conflict.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s moves to ease the constraints of Japan’s pacifist constitution on its military have unnerved China. Japan says China’s defence policy lacks transparency.

Sino-Japanese relations have chilled over what China views as Japan’s reluctance to properly atone for its wartime past as well as a dispute over a group of tiny East China Sea islets. Patrol ships and fighter jets from both countries have shadowed each other regularly near the uninhabited islands that are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China, prompting fears that an accidental collision could spark conflict.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, in their the first time ever formal talks last year November, on the sidelines of an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, in a step forward towards repairing their ties, agreed to aim for implementation of a plan for hot lines between defence officials as well as communication between vessels and aircraft to convey each other’s intentions and avoid clashes.

In the meeting, hailed by Xi as the first step toward improved ties, the two agreed to work for the implementation of a bilateral crisis management mechanism. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official told a media briefing after the one-day meeting that both sides agreed that the tide is beginning to turn for the better regarding relations between Japan and China, following the summit meeting. They also agreed that it is important to keep on taking positive steps in various areas and at various levels to firmly establish this trend.  The same month, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, agreed to resume the security talks that began in 1993.

China and Japan consider the importance of engaging another important Asia Pacific nation in talks for  creating a peaceful environment in the region – South Korea.  In a sign of a thaw in Sino-Japanese ties, foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea are set to meet on March 28 Saturday in Seoul for the first time in nearly three years.



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