Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hu Jintao's visit to Japan: Will it truly start a long "warm spring"?

Japan and China are the two most powerful countries in Asia now. Unfortunately, these two countries do not have a good relationship. Japan’s Second World War massacre left deep wound in China. On the contrary, China’s continuous rise as a new power has always threatened Japan. For years, efforts have been made to ease the tension but nothing happened. Now, a new light of hope has emerged. For the past twenty months, officials of the two countries are trying to build a friendly relationship. As the ultimate sign of friendly gesture China’s President, Hu Jintao, has come on a five day visit in Japan on May 6th. After China’s President Jiang Zemin’s visit in 1998, this is the first time any powerful Chinese official has visited China. President, Hu Jintao and Japan’s Prime- Minister, Yasuo Fukuda will attend a series of meetings where the two leaders will discuss about various business and political issues between two countries and draw out the future of Sino-Japanese relation.

Both Yasuo Fukuda and his father, former Prime Minister of Japan, Takeo Fukuda, were very much interested to build a good relationship with China. After Fukuda became Prime Minister, many Chinese people were very happy. Mr. Fukuda is known as a ‘Friend of China’.

China has replaced USA as the major trading partner of Japan. China is experiencing a rapid economic growth and it is hungry for new technology. On the other hand, China as a member of UN’s Security Council, is expected back Japan to be included as a member.

President Hu arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport at noon. The two leaders then attended a dinner in Tokyo’s main park. During the dinner, President Hu offered to lend a pair of giant panda’s as a sign of friend ship.

However, many people on both sides are not very optimistic about all this. Hardcore nationalists of both countries oppose the idea of friendship or any kind of ties. Still, it is true that Japan and China are the two most powerful countries in Asia at present and if the people of these two great countries forgive each other for their past mishaps and focus on building a friendly relationship then great things can be accomplished.

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