(The views presented are not necessarily those of Focal Points.)
By reiterating Japan’s “unshakable” apology for World War II and legalizing the necessary enhancements to operate its Self-Defense Forces like a normal national armed force of a state, Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister 2006-7, 2012-present) has done a meritorious job to consummate Japan’s statehood, thus enabling the Japan-China relation to move on to another stage of collaboration in due course.
For as long as two decades after the Treaty of Peace and Friendship was sealed by Takeo Fukuda (PM 1976-8) and Deng Xiaoping in 1978, Japan and China maintained a smooth working relation, particularly in trade and fixed investments. Despite the ongoing islands dispute, a joint statement was issued in June 2008 at the Tokyo summit between Yasuo Fukuda (PM 2007-8) and Hu Jintao (President 2003-13) to attest their commitment in working out a joint East China Sea development scheme. Anticipation was actually high for a deal. “Rumors circulated in early February (2008) that a breakthrough was close … that the dispute might be nearing some kind of resolution”. Details of two scenarios regarding the Chunxiao complex, median line and names of the selected oil exploitation corporations as the terms of the resolution were disclosed [Note 1].