But just before the summit the two sides reached a cleverly crafted agreement conveniently open to multiple interpretations. It stated that China and Japan hold different views about their recent tensions in the East China Sea — allowing the Chinese side to claim to its people that Japan had formally acknowledged the existence of a dispute, as Mr. Xi required, while allowing the Japanese government to tell its own audience back home this wasn’t so. (Yasukuni was not mentioned.)

Mr. Abe and Mr. Xi deserve credit for this constructive vagueness. By sharing in it, they took a responsible step toward calming tensions in East Asia. Mr. Abe, in particular, seems to have calculated that while he would lose points with some supporters, he could bear such a burden more readily than Mr. Xi, who is struggling to bridge divisions between hawks and doves in China’s military and foreign policy establishment.

This could not have been easy for Mr. Abe. China has frequently sent patrol boats into the waters around the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, and the Japanese public generally supports taking a tough stance against such provocations and on security matters having to do with China. According to a joint survey conducted this summer by the Japanese nongovernmental group Genron NPO and the China Daily, 93 percent of the Japanese do not have a good impression of China.

But many Japanese also understand that China is an important neighbor and essential to their own peace and prosperity: In the same survey, over 70 percent of Japanese said the relationship between Japan and China was important, and about 80 percent expressed concern over its current state or the need to improve it. Mr. Abe knows this.

Mr. Abe also knows Mr. Xi is in a more delicate position than he. On the one hand, tensions with Japan have economic costs for China. According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, Japanese investment in China from January to June 2014 fell by almost half compared with the same period in 2013. Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng told a delegation of Japanese business people in September that tension between the two countries was hurting economic ties, and that that was something he did not want to see.

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Yet it is also a general principle of Chinese politics that a leader without a solid power base cannot improve ties with Japan. The Chinese leadership uses nationalist fervor to compensate for a deficit in legitimacy, and to unite the party and the nation, and Japan is a familiar target, especially for the hawks in the military and the propaganda department. Judging by the Chinese media’s lukewarm coverage of that historic handshake last month, Mr. Xi is not yet secure enough to actively promote the Chinese-Japanese relationship.

A 回答 (1件)


この合意によれば、中国と日本は、東シナ海のこのところの緊張状態について異なる見解を有しているとしました ― こうすることで、中国側は、人民に習氏が求める様に日本が公式に意見の食い違いが存在することを認めたと主張することが出来ますし、他方、日本政府は、国民にそうではないと言うことが出来たのです。(靖国問題は、取り上げられませんでした。)






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