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Noda’s olive branch needs to take root

(Global Times)

08:59, August 29, 2012

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has sent a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao through a senior Japanese official. According to the Japanese side, Noda expressed his worries about the tensions over Diaoyu between China and Japan and also wished for the two sides to advance a mutually beneficial relationship.

We believe it is an important signal from Japan that it doesn't want to see bilateral conflict further intensify. Previously, Japanese authorities have repeatedly suggested that Self-Defense Forces could be sent to Diaoyu when necessary and stressed the inclusion of Diaoyu in the US-Japan Security Treaty. Now Noda has softened this stance.

Tensions over the Diaoyu Islands have been spiraling. Among Japan's multi-faceted stance toward China, Noda's stressing of the bilateral relationship is positive to helping ease matters. But Japan needs a more stable attitude toward China. There are numerous conflicts between both sides. Strengthening mutual trust is the only way to prevent issues from developing into serious confrontations.

The root of the current tensions between Tokyo and Beijing is Japan's diplomatic strategy.

The rise of China, as a result of a changing Asia-Pacific region and a global geopolitical power shift, has stirred up resistance and guarding from Japan. No matter how hard the two countries have tried, mutual trust has been difficult to build up.

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