Japan and China recently marked the 45th anniversary of a peace and friendship treaty between the two countries. However, there were no official celebrations due to ongoing tensions. One source of tension is Japan’s plan to release treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. Other factors include territorial and trade disputes, as well as a visit by former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso to Taiwan. The treaty, signed in 1978, aims to strengthen bilateral relations based on principles such as mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-aggression, and peaceful coexistence. Despite the tensions, there have been signs of improving relations. China has approved the resumption of group tours to Japan for its citizens, and there are positive indications for a summit between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. People-to-people exchanges and practical actions by Japan are seen as vital for building trust. There is a recognition that Japan’s conduct in recent years has damaged mutual trust and more needs to be done to repair the relationship.
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