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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 11:04 03/29/2007
News Review #387: March 22, 2007

No Common History View with China

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

No Common History View with China
The Japan Times (3/21/2007)


When Mr. Shinzo Abe took office as Japan's prime minister about six months ago, things looked rosy to him as his popularity was extremely high, and also to other peoples, especially those who hoped that Japan-China relations could improve after former prime minister Koizumi was gone.

In fact, Japan's relations with China have improved significantly on the political level since then, mainly because Chinese leaders are eager to reestablish their relations with Japan and other major countries for their own sake, in view of the upcoming international events such as the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Shanghei Exposition in 2010. Even some of the so-called "history issues" between the two countries appeared to have been moving toward resolution, as a joint study project to co-write a single history of Japan-China relations was initiated and sponsored by the two governments late last year.

However, things do not look so good now, as Mr. Abe's popularity is way down, partly due to his mishandling of some domestic political affairs, but partly due to uncertainties in his handling of such critical problems as North Korea's nuclear and abductee issues. Furthermore, as this Japan Times article indicates, there has not been much progress after all regarding such fundamental problems as the "history issue" between Japan and China (and the same is true between Japan and South Korea for that matter). Unless those fundamental issues are resolved between the two peoples, rather than the two governments, Japan-China (and Japan-South Korea relations for that matter) could never be able to improve in the real sense of the word, as the recent episode of the "comfort women" issue indicates.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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