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Trump Driving Japan and China Closer

By Yoichi Funabashi and Harry Dempse
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had tried to reset Japan-China relations in 2006 during his first term as prime minister. But what has motivated Abe to again extend an olive branch? Above, Abe gives a speech on Monday in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Visual China
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had tried to reset Japan-China relations in 2006 during his first term as prime minister. But what has motivated Abe to again extend an olive branch? Above, Abe gives a speech on Monday in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Visual China

Sino-Japanese relations have been stuck in a political quagmire for over six years. Tensions over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands have resurfaced time and time again since September 2010, when a Chinese fishing boat rammed two Japanese coast guard ships and its captain was arrested by the Japanese. Japan harbors suspicions that Chinese aggression is aimed at forcing an eventual retreat of the United States from Asia and the Pacific. And China continues to lambast Japan for its failure to face up to its history in the Sino-Japanese wars, as well as its contemporary push toward re-militarization.

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