On Aug. 31, Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Japan’s parliamentary senior vice minister of foreign affairs, handed to Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to Chinese President Hu Jintao. In the letter, Noda expressed his hope for the two countries to continue to promote strategic and mutually beneficial relations, and handle the Diaoyu Islands dispute in a calm manner to avoid further deterioration of bilateral relations.
Noda’s letter to China’s top leader reflects his will to improve bilateral relations, and is considered a positive move against the backdrop of rampant right-wing forces. However, as an old Chinese saying goes, “Judge a person by his deeds, not by his words.” What has Japan done these days?
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara sent a survey ship to the waters of the Diaoyu Islands on Sept. 2 to conduct illegal surveying and continue infringing on China’s sovereignty. According to Japanese media, the Japanese government will lay down the guidelines for “nationalizing” the Diaoyu Islands in mid-September. In addition, Japan’s Ministry of Defense recently decided to use amphibious armored vehicles to tighten security around the Diaoyu and other islands.
These moves create an impression that Japan is taking a two-faced approach to dealing with China. On the one hand, the Japanese government expressed its willingness to improve strained bilateral relations and calmly handle the Diaoyu Islands dispute. On the other hand, it has turned a blind eye to right-wingers’ rash moves over the Diaoyu Islands dispute as well as cabinet members’ provocative remarks that have seriously damaged China-Japan relations.
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