An event in Beijing to celebrate friendship between China and Japan on Sept. 1. (Photo/CNS)
Events to mark the 40th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties between China and Japan on Sept. 27 have been thrown into disarray by the current dispute over islands in the East China Sea, reports by our sister Chinese-language newspaper Want Daily.
Japan recognized the Republic of China government on Taiwan as the sole legitimate government of China between 1952 and 1972. Following the Nixon visit to China in early 1972, Japan's then-prime minister Kakuei Tanaka went to Beijing in September that year to normalize relations between Japan and the PRC, leading to a joint communique announced by Tanaka and the Chinese premier, Zhou Enlai.
An event had been planned in Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary on Sept. 29th by the China-Japan Friendship Association, with Chinese and Japanese leaders set to attend. While Tokyo has stated that the anti-Japanese demonstrations currently taking place in China would have no effect to the celebration, the Chinese side says the Japanese government has committed a major error in nationalizing three of the disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku or Diaoyutai) islands and the issue is harming relations between the two countries.
Hong Lei, spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said at a press conference that former leaders of China and Japan such as Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Kakuei Tanaka and Masayoshi Ohira all had the wisdom to leave the territorial dispute over the islands for a future generation to resolve, and this approach became the main reason East Asia has enjoyed peace and stability for nearly 40 years. If the Japanese government has decided to give up its consensus with the Chinese government to leave the islands untouched, healthy relations between the two countries will be hard to maintain, Hong said, suggesting Tokyo should backtrack and return to the previous state of affairs with regard to the islands.
China's National Tourism Administration has warned Chinese nationals against travel to Japan for their own safety amid the prospect of anti-Chinese protests by Japanese nationalists. It also recommend Chinese tourists report to the local police if they encounter harassment.
Reports from Chinese nationals in Japan say however that they continue to feel welcome in the country, in stark contrast to the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment that currently prevails in China.
Hong Lei 洪磊