China and Japan issued a joint statement to establish the diplomatic relations 40 years ago and the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries could have been a new start. However, the current bilateral relations feature decreasing political and economic cooperation, tense diplomacy and blocked non-governmental exchanges. The wrong moves of Japan have brought the Sino-Japan relations to the crossroad.
Japan has coveted the Diaoyu Islands for centuries. With China's rapid development, Japan staged the farce of "islands-buying" at the expense of 40 years’ Sino-Japan friendship. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda disguised as a "victim" and made a complaint in the United Nations, in an attempt to make known to the international community that Japan claims sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands.
The rise of China leads to structural changes in the geopolitical pattern of East Asia and the shift in balance of power between China and Japan. Japan's status of leader in the East Asia has been shaken. Furthermore, its domestic politics moves towards rightism and the populism is prevalent. Shintaro Ishihara and Yoshihiko Noda even sacrifice the national interests and Sino-Japan relations for their own interests. The mentality of Cold War, "China threat theory" and restraint of China lead to tensions between China and Japan.
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