Japan invaded China before and during World War II, and Japan’s treatment of China during that period still greatly impacts relations.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on August 24 the decision was made because of Abe’s parliamentary schedule, but many observers believe it had more to do with Tokyo’s concerns about the possible anti-Japanese tone of an event marking the country’s surrender in 1945. “He will not be travelling to China shortly before or after Sept 3”. We will continue to seek out ways for our two countries to communicate with each other.
Abe decided to skip the visit because Japan’s parliament is debating his controversial legislation to expand the role of the military, NHK said, without citing anyone. In the end, Abe might pay a political price for his attendance in China’s military parade, but it will be a small price compared to the large gains derived from the visit.
There is no reason to politicize the commemorative events in Beijing, because that would send out the wrong signal that the West does not welcome the rise of China and does not want Japan to express remorse for its past and learn the lessons of history. Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to return the gesture by traveling to the Beijing event.
However, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has quelled reports that the parade scheduled for September 3 would be used to trumpet anti-Japanese rhetoric.
There have also been growing tensions in the region over the China’s land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea.
Sino-Japan relations have always been affected by what China sees as Japan’s failure to atone for its occupation of parts of the country before and during the war.
Ties between China and Japan have improved slightly when President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Abe met during the April multi-lateral gatherings and also in November 2014.
With the national cohesion of courage and strength, the Chinese people united to fight Japanese invaders and finally won the anti-Japanese war, showing that justice will eventually defeat evil, Gu said.