Tokyo: Japanese Foreign Minister Kono Taro made a statement from the Chinese capital, indicating that the adversaries were coming together ‘The relations between China and Japan have normalised.’ In response to the statement of the Japanese Foreign Minister, Chinese President, Xi Jinping announced that he would attend the G20 conference in Japan. But the indications are that the competition between the two countries, on the trade front, will not ease, under any circumstances.
The visit to the United States and Europe, by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while movements are being made to normalise relations with China, becomes significant. The Japanese leadership is well aware that the challenge, in the efforts to normalise relations with China, is faced by Japan and it will require continued association of old and traditional allies, for this purpose.
The adversary China is feeling the heat of the trade war started by US President Donald Trump,but it has even affected Japan, the US ally, to a certain extent. Therefore, it is important from the Japanese point of view, to establish a dialogue with President Trump and try and reduce the trade taxes. The Japanese analysts and sources have said that the entire stress of Prime Minister Abe, during his US visit, will be on this issue. It is noted that other than trade, North Korea and China will be the central issues in the discussions with the United States.
The Japanese Commerce and Defence Ministers visited the United States last week before the Japanese Prime Minister embarked on his US visit.Preliminary talks were held regarding strengthening the trade ties and also North Korea and bilateral defence ties, during the ‘Two-Plus-Two’ meeting. The decision to include Cyberspace, in the US-Japan defence agreements, was also taken during the meeting. The US officials clarified that a cyber attack on Japan would be considered an act of aggression and the United States will be free to act against it.
After the visit by the Japanese Prime Minister, President Trump is scheduled to visit Japan, next month. As per analysts, these successive visits will take the US-Japanese relations to a new height.
The Japanese Prime Minister will be visiting Europe, before proceeding to the United States. Prime Minister Abe will be visiting France, Italy, Slovakia and Belgium. Moreover, he has already reached the French capital of Paris, on Tuesday morning. The selection of the European countries is made, keeping China is view.
Only last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Europe. He visited France and Italy during this visit. Multi-billion dollars agreements with France and inclusion of Italy in the ambitious One Belt One Road scheme were the highlights of the visit. China is making efforts to bring Europe closer to it and these are warning bells for Japan. Therefore, strengthening the economic cooperation with Europe will be the prime objective for Abe, during this visit.
The trade agreement between Japan and Europe is a positive, in favour of Japan and Japan can use it to stop China. At the same time, the cooperation of the European countries will be vital, in the G20 meeting and it is said that the Japanese Prime Minister will present his stand firmly, during the visit. The meeting with Slovakia, the representative of Eastern Europe, becomes vital as China is trying to get a foothold in eastern Europe, using its financial might. Abe becomes the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Slovakia.