Sino-Japanese Relations 

On politics, on October 2, 1971, China put forward "the Three Principles on the Restoration of Sino-Japanese Diplomatic Relations": "The People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China;" "Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People's Republic of China;" and the "Peace Treaty" between Japan and the Chiang Kaishek authorities is illegal and must be abrogated. On September 25, 1972, the then Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka visited China. On September 29, both the Chinese and Japanese governments issued the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement. The restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries came true.

 

In recent years, China-Japan relations have kept impetus on general and high-level contacts have remained frequent. On the other hand, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paying successive visits to the Yasukuni Shrine has become a major issue affecting the current political relations between China and Japan.

 

On economy, Japan has been China's largest trading partner for ten years running, while China has become Japan's second largest trading and export market.

 

On scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation, since the normalization of bilateral relations, the two countries have established scientific and technological cooperative relations. In May, 1980, the two governments signed an agreement for scientific and technological cooperation. Recent years have witnessed the emergence of multi-channel, multi-faceted, multi-form cultural exchanges at both the governmental and non-governmental levels.

 

On December 6, 1979, China and Japan signed the "Agreement for Promoting Cultural Exchanges between China and Japan" in Beijing. The two sides agreed to develop bilateral cooperation in the fields of culture, education, academic and sports. In 2002, the two countries decided to hold "China Culture Year" and "Japan Culture Year". Moreover, they held summer camp for youth from China, Japan and South Korea and the Sino-Japanese economic forum.


Some Sensitive Issues:

 

1. Issue of History

The correct understanding of history is a sensitive political issue in the bilateral relations. Since the beginning of 2001, the issues of Japanese history textbooks and the paying of homage to the Yasukuni Shrine have not been resolved, severely disturbing the development of Sino-Japanese relations.

 

2. Issue of Taiwan

China's position on Japanese-Taiwan relations is clear. China has no objection to people-to-people contacts between Japan and Taiwan. However, China firmly opposes any form of official contacts between Japan and Taiwan, let alone any activities aiming at creating "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". The Chinese side also requires Japan to explicitly promise not to include Taiwan in the scope of US-Japanese security cooperation.

 

3. Issue of the Diaoyu Islands

Diaoyu Island and its associated islands lie in the East China Sea, around 92 nautical miles Northeast of Chilung City, Taiwan Province of China, which are mainly composed of Diaoyu Island, Huangwei Yu, Chiwei Yu, Nanxiao Dao, Beixiao Dao Island and some reefs. Diaoyu Island and its associated islands have long been the inherent territory of China. Like Taiwan, the Diaoyu Islands are inalienable part of the territory of the People's Republic of China. China enjoys indisputable sovereignty over these islands and the natural resources in the surrounding sea. China's sovereignty over these islands is fully proven by history and is legally well-founded. In view of the different positions on Diaoyu Islands from the Japanese side, the Chinese government, proceeding from the development of Sino-Japanese relations and on condition of adhering to China's consistent position, reached an understanding with the Japanese government: The issue of the Diaoyu Islands shall be shelved for future settlement, neither side should take unilateral action and the two sides should try to prevent this issue from becoming a disturbing factor in the overall bilateral relations.

 

4. Issue of Japanese-American Security Cooperation

In 1996, Japan and the US issued the "Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation" and started to amend the "Defense Cooperation Guidelines" worked out in 1978. In September 1997, the new defense guidelines were formally defined. On May 24, 1999, the Japanese Diet reviewed and approved the bills related to the new Guidelines, which meant a new system of the reinforcement of the security cooperation between Japan and the US. The focal point of our concern is that, first of all, it involves the issue of Taiwan; secondly, what is the future orientation of the Japanese military? The Chinese government has expressed serious concern and its position on the issue through various channels.

 

5. Issue of War Reparations

During the negotiations for the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1972, the Japanese government stated that it keenly felt its heavy responsibilities arising from the war against the Chinese people. Taking this into consideration, the Chinese government decided to waive the claim of war reparations that was written into the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement in 1972.

 

The Treaty of Peace and Friendship, approved by the 3rd meeting of the 5th Standing Committee of Chinese National People's Congress in 1978, reaffirmed in the form of a legal document the decision of to waive reparations.

 

6. Japanese Chemical Weapons Discarded in China

In the war, the Japanese army openly violated international conventions by using chemical weapons, which caused severe casualties among Chinese soldiers and civilians. When Japan was defeated, large amounts of chemical weapons were buried and discarded in China to cover up the evidence of their crimes. Discarded Japanese chemical weapons have so far been found in more than 30 places in over 10 cities and provinces in China. Eroded by the wind and rain of over half a century, some of those chemical weapons are corroding and others are leaking, greatly endangering the safety of the Chinese people and the environment. From 1989 to the present, in order to solve the problem, the two sides held four rounds of negotiations at governmental-level and four expert-level consultations. In 1997, the two sides established a Joint Working Group. Four meetings of the Joint Working Group were held thereafter. Encouraged by the Chinese side, the Japanese side conducted 15 field inspections of its leftover chemical weapons. Through a number of negotiations and joint investigations, Japan recognized the fact that it discarded a large amount of chemical weapons and was fully aware of the seriousness and urgency of the issue. Japan keenly regretted the damage which the Chinese people have so far suffered.