BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Days before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe starts his first overseas tour on Wednesday, the newly elected Japanese leader ratcheted up rhetoric toward China that badly damaged the mutual trust between the two neighbors.
Abe said before his inauguration that Japan sees China as one of its most important diplomatic relationships and promised to pull their soured bilateral relations back on track.
Recent moves by the Abe government, however, not only broke the prime minister's word but rapidly heightened tensions with China over the Diaoyu Islands.
Abe publicly claimed Japan's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands on Friday, saying the issue is "not negotiable." Just days earlier Japan was also reportedly scheming to fire "warning shots" when Chinese planes enter air space claimed by Japan.
Moreover, Japan's Cabinet approved a supplementary budget plan of 147 billion U.S. dollars that includes military spending for border defense.
Tokyo's irrational provocations would undoubtedly incur a tough response from Beijing, further damaging the environment of economic cooperation as well as regional stability.
Since the island-buying farce inflamed bilateral ties last year, Beijing has been trying to defuse tensions and welcomes any effort to improve their strained relations. That's because hostility and mistrust would hinder China's endeavor for a peaceful rise.
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