The visit of Japanese Prime Minister Noda to China on December 25 and 26, 2011, marked a new effort in strengthening the bilateral relationship which is sometimes suffering from strategic mistrust and political tension. There are different views regarding the outcome of the visit. One may say it is just a pointless visit while other may say it’s a new starting point of the bilateral relations after Noda came to power this year.
From my point of view, PM Noda has scored an important point in linking closer the bilateral relationship between the two countries although he did not meet the future generation of Chinese leadership (Xi Jinping and Li Keqiangi). The visit will help to cement comprehensive connection and interdependence between China and Japan on many areas especially security, economic, and cultural aspects.
Regional security concern especially after the death of Kim Jong Il prompted Japan to talk with China on how to maintain peace and stability in the Korean Peninsular. Economic cooperation between China and Japan has witnessed a remarkable growth over the last decade. People to people diplomacy has been growing after the March disaster in Japan.
The prospect of China-Japan relations will be more positive but it depends on China-US relations. China and Japan needs to promote more strategic trust and confidence otherwise it can disturb regional security and stability. Within such complex relationship, Noda’s visit has really scored a significant point in moving the bilateral relations forward to a next step. Frequent meetings and talking at different levels can reduce mistrust and misunderstanding.