Prime Minister Abe realized his long quest for a summit with President Xi during the APEC meeting in Beijing. The picture of the encounter – Xi’s averted gaze at the handshake – spoke volumes, underscoring the politically sensitive issues that trouble the relationship: disputed history, Yasukuni, and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. China commemorated several anniversaries: the victory over Japan on Sept. 3, the Mukden Incident on Sept. 18, and the Nanjing massacre on Dec. 13. In the East China Sea, Chinese Coast Guard ships regularly operated in Japan’s contiguous zone, while asserting administrative jurisdiction and frequently entering Japan’s territorial waters. Meanwhile, Chinese fishing boats engaged in coral poaching within Japan’s EEZ. Polls in both countries revealed a continuation of mutually strong negative feelings.
Public opinion in both countries continued to reflect negative views of the other. In early September, Japan’s Genron NPO and the China Times released the result of their joint public opinion poll taken during July and August. Asked of their opinion of China, 93 percent of Japanese respondents replied “not good,” marking an increase of 2.9 percent over 2013 and a record 10-year high of negative ratings. In contrast, Chinese negative impressions of Japan declined 6 percent to 86.8 percent, suggesting a slight improvement in their views of Japan. Asked of the reasons for their negative impressions, 55 percent of Japanese respondents cited Chinese behavior that differed from internationally accepted rules of conduct. Chinese respondents cited territorial issues (64 percent) and Japan’s failure to reflect on history (59.6 percent). Yet both Japanese (79.4 percent) and Chinese respondents (70.4) percent expressed concern with the negative feelings held of each other and the need to improve relations. When asked how best to deal with territorial issues, 63.7 percent of Chinese respondents favored strengthening “effective control.”
Surveys in Japan showed that while there was some recognition of the need to improve relations, there was not much optimism it would happen anytime soon. At the end of September, Nihon Keizai Shimbun and TV Tokyo released the results of a nationwide survey taken Sept. 26-28. Asked if Japan should hold summits with China and Korea, 50 percent responded “yes.” Shukan Toyo Keizai also published the findings of its opinion poll on China and South Korea. It showed that over 90 percent of respondents indicated that they did not have “friendly feelings toward China” or did not have “friendly feelings to a certain degree.” In an Oct. 6 Yomiuri Shimbun poll Japanese were asked whether Japan should consider compromising with China and South Korea to realize a summit; 37 percent of respondents replied “yes” while 56 percent replied that not holding talks was “unavoidable as long as they continue to assert what is unacceptable to Japan.”
Similarly negative views were expressed in China. On Nov. 15, Xinhua released the results of a post-summit, smartphone public opinion poll in which 83 percent of respondents expressed anti-Japanese feelings; only 3 percent had friendly feelings toward Japan. Looking ahead to 2015 two-thirds thought relations will only worsen and that the summit had not changed their negative attitudes toward Japan.
On Sept. 3, President Xi Jinping attended ceremonies commemorating China’s victory over Japan at the Museum of the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance against Japan. In his remarks, Xi indicted Japan’s Imperial Army for its “barbaric conduct,” while celebrating Chinese patriotism and its historic victory in the war with Japan. At the same time, Xi expressed hope that Japan would address issues of history and the future from the broader perspective of advancing stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sept. 11 marked the second anniversary of Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. Commenting on reports that Japan is considering the establishment of amphibious military units dedicated to protecting Japanese sovereignty, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying emphasized that the “Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated islands are China’s inherent territory. The Chinese government has the confidence and the capability to safeguard territorial sovereignty …. As for the security troops of the Diaoyu Islands, you mentioned, I’d like to say that Japan’s muscle-flexing can neither bluff nor help solve the problem.”
Sept. 18 marked the 83rd anniversary of the Manchurian Incident. China’s fifth-ranking member of the Central Committee, Liu Yunshan, attended commemorative ceremonies at the 9-18 Museum in Shenyang. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei used his press conference to urge Japan “to develop a correct view of that part of history, and properly deal with it, deliver on its solemn statement and commitment on historical issues, follow the path of peaceful development and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.” On the same day, the Nanjing Museum dedicated to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre opened a website that posted pictures and testimonial of survivors through Dec. 18.
In a Sept. 27 address to the United Nations General Assembly, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi referred to 2015 as marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and warned against efforts to distort the reality of the war. Speaking directly of Japan, Wang emphasized that Japanese militarism had been responsible for the death or wounding of over 3.5 million Chinese soldiers and citizens.
On Sept. 30, China celebrated Martyrs Day as a national holiday for the first time. In February, the National People’s Congress adopted legislation creating three new national holidays: Sept. 3 to commemorate Japan’s surrender in 1945, Dec. 13 to remember the Nanjing Massacre of 1937, and Sept. 30 as Martyrs Day to mark the beginning of construction in 1949 of the monument to the People’s Heroes in Tiananmen Square.
On Oct. 17, Japan’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Takaichi Sanae, along with a supra-party delegation of 110 Diet members, visited the Yasukuni Shrine during the autumn festival. Prime Minister Abe did not visit the shrine, but sent an offering under his name as prime minister. A week later, on Oct. 23, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) General Council Chairman Nikai Toshihiro in a speech delivered in Tokyo called for consideration of measures to effect the removal of the Class-A war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide emphasized the importance of studying the issue “carefully.”
On Nov. 30, representatives of the Japanese and Chinese governments met in Donwha City in Jilin Province to mark the beginning of operations at the Habaling facility, built by Japan to dispose of approximately 300,000-400,000 chemical weapons abandoned by the Imperial Army at the end of the war. Destruction of the weapons began on Dec. 1, with a target date of 2022 for completion. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua noted that “progress has been made in disposing Japanese-dumped chemical weapons in China over recent years,” … but “the whole process is still lagging far behind the destruction plan set by the Chinese and Japanese side.”
As the December anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre drew near, a Chinese NGO, requested both an apology and compensation from Japan for the victims of the Nanjing massacre through the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. On Dec. 13, Xi Jinping became the first Chinese president to attend commemorative ceremonies in Nanjing. In his remarks, Xi proclaimed that “anyone who tries to deny the massacre will not be allowed by history, the souls of 300,000 deceased victims, 1.3 billion Chinese people, and all the people loving peace and justice in the world.” He also told his audience that China should not “bear hatred against an entire nation just because a small minority of militarists launched aggressive wars.”
The long and winding road to the summit
Prime Minister Abe spent much effort in pursuing a summit with President Xi throughout the autumn months. On Sept. 3, he reshuffled his government and in the process appointed two lawmakers with close connections to China to key LDP posts: Tanigaki Sadakazu as secretary general and Nikai Toshihiro as chairman of the General Council. Commenting on relations with China, Nikai told reporters that “it’s not good to be antagonistic. Rather than who is right and who is wrong, the people want the two countries to be good neighbors.” In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang refrained from commenting on Abe’s Cabinet reshuffle but observed “if the inclusion of these two people into the LDP executives can exert any influence on the Abe administration’s policy toward China, we hope the influence is positive.” During his visit to Bangladesh in early September, Abe told reporters that it is because there are problems in Japan-China relations that the door to dialogue must not be closed. During a Sept. 27 press conference, Abe again expressed his hopes for a summit with Xi at the APEC meeting. Responding to question during the Sept. 30 session of the Lower House, Abe took up the issue of Japan-China relations, again calling for a summit with Xi during the APEC meeting. Accordingly, he said the two countries needed “to persist in quiet efforts” toward this end. On Sept. 23, in remarks delivered in New York City, Abe expressed his regret that conditions had not allowed for a meeting of Chinese and Japanese leaders and stressed the importance of both sides making quiet efforts toward that end. In his Sept. 29 policy address to the opening of the autumn session of the Diet, Abe echoed the theme. During a meeting of the Upper House Budget Committee on Oct. 8, Abe said that he felt that the Chinese side was more positive about improving relations and that it is important to actively promote cooperation and dialogue in broad areas. On Oct. 16 at Asia-Europe (ASEM) meeting in Italy, Abe exchanged greetings with Premier Li Keqiang.
Elsewhere, Foreign Minister Kishida Fumiko met Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in New York in late September. Afterward, he told reporters that the two had engaged in a lengthy and frank exchange of views over the present state of the bilateral relationship, but that nothing had been decided with respect to an Abe-Xi meeting. At the end of October, former Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, in his capacity as chairman of the Boao Forum, met President Xi in Beijing. While Japanese media speculated that the visit was aimed at advancing an Abe-Xi meeting, Fukuda told reporters that discussions were broad ranging and “good,” but did not touch on bilateral relations. China’s Central television carried a report of the meeting.
Meanwhile, China continued to insist that the responsibility for improved relations rested on Japan. Responding to questions about Abe’s remarks about the need for a summit, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying expressed the hope that Japan would take concrete actions to create conditions favorable to improved relations. In remarks delivered on Sept. 25 at a reception commemorating the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghwa told guests that he hoped that Japan sees China not as a threat but as a partner for cooperation and expressed his hope that efforts to build a relationship of mutual trust will continue. He went on to note that Japan must in good faith and in concrete actions deal appropriately with issues related to history and the Diaoyu Islands to return relations to their proper path. On Sept. 29, Foreign Minister Wang addressed the issue of a possible Abe-Xi summit, telling reporters that “it is an objective fact that problems exist between China and Japan and that China hoped that Japan’s leaders would squarely face the issues and demonstrate their sincerity.” In an Oct. 15 speech delivered in Tokyo, Cheng said the APEC meeting represented a “”great chance” and that diplomats of both countries were working toward that end. At the same time, he noted history and territorial issues continued to be large obstacles in the relationship. Accordingly, China wanted to see Japan’s true intentions and through its conduct to demonstrate that it is prepared to deal with the issues in a cooperative manner.
In what proved to be the final breakthrough, Tokyo and Beijing released the English translation of the text of a four-paragraph document on Nov. 7. On the critical issue of the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands the texts differed. China’s version reads “The two sides have acknowledged that different positions exist between them regarding the tensions which have merged in recent years over the Diaoyu islands and some waters in the East China Sea.” Japan’s version reads “Both sides recognized that they had different views as to the emergence of tense situations in recent years in the waters of the East China Sea, including those around the Senkaku islands….” Questioned about the document on the issue related to Yasukuni and the Senkakus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga told reporters “our positions have not changed.” The day after the summit Foreign Minister Kishida told reporters the document did not reflect any change in Japan’s position, namely that a sovereignty issue with respect to the Senkakus “does not exist.” Kishida added that the sources of tension in the region were the result of China’s unilateral actions in the East China Sea – the declaration of the Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone and exploitations of seabed natural resources. The following day, China’s Ambassador Cheng expressed “great concern and dissatisfaction” with Kishida’s remarks.
At the summit
Prime Minster Abe departed Tokyo for Beijing to attend the APEC Leaders Meeting on Nov. 9. At a pre-departure press conference, he told reporters that he wanted to advance relations with China and that if a summit with President Xi should occur he wanted to raise the issue of a maritime communication mechanism and to bring relations back to the foundation of a mutually beneficial strategic relationship.
On Nov. 10, Prime Minister Abe shook hands with a stone-faced President Xi. A 25-minute meeting followed. Xinhua reported that Xi told Abe that “historical issues concern the feelings of more than 1.3 billion Chinese people and urged Abe do more things that help enhance the mutual trust between Japan and its neighbors and play a constructive role in safeguarding the region’s peace and stability.” Abe reportedly assured Xi that Japan would continue to be a “peaceful country” and reaffirmed the 1995 Murayama Statement apologizing for the suffering and damage Japan had inflicted on the people of Asia during the war. Afterward, Abe told reporters that by “going back to the original point of a strategic relationship of mutual benefit, the first step was taken in improving relations.” The two leaders, however, did not take up issues related to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, disputed history, and Yasukuni. Subsequently, Abe told a Fuji TV audience that on meeting Xi, he had remarked that “even if we first meet as strangers, we will next meet as friends.”
Post-summit: coral poaching in Japan’s EEZ – finding common ground
During October, as Chinese and Japanese diplomats worked toward a summit meeting, Chinese fishing boats swarmed into Japan’s EEZ in the area of Ogasawara and Izu Islands. Japanese Coast Guard monitoring reported 212 Chinese ships in the area as of early November, reportedly poaching red coral. Their activities became front-page news and were highlighted on television broadcasts in Japan.
On Nov. 4, Foreign Minister Kishida told reporters that Japan had protested their actions and called on China to take appropriate actions to deal with the situation. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga noted that China had recognized the importance of dealing with the situation and was taking appropriate actions to deal with the matter. During her Nov. 4 press conference, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua replied that “The Chinese side always attaches importance to the protection of endangered marine living resources. We ask the fishermen to carry out production and operation at sea in accordance with law. We prohibit the illegal harvest of red coral. Competent authorities of the Chinese side will keep enhancing supervision and law enforcement. We also hope that the Japanese side will deal with the relevant issues in a civil, sensible, law-abiding, just and proper way.” Two days later, spokesperson Hong hoped that “both China and Japan can enhance cooperation so as to properly address relevant issues.”
Later, Foreign Minister Kishida told reporters that he had called the issue to the attention of his Chinese counterpart during their pre-summit meeting on Nov. 8 and Foreign Minister Wang had committed to taking the necessary actions. Kishida added that he had made clear the importance of seeing results. In a post-summit interview with Sankei Shimbun, Abe said he had raised the issue at the summit and had asked Xi to take actions to address the issue.
Less than two weeks later, on Nov. 15, Japanese Coast Guards observation planes found five Chinese fishing boats operating within Japan’s territorial waters and 52 in Japan’s EEZ. The following day, the Coast Guard found only one Chinese ship in Japan’s territorial waters and 57 in Japan’s EEZ. Meanwhile, Japan’s Upper House approved an increase in fines for illegal fishing by foreign vessels to ¥4,000,000 within Japan’s territorial waters and ¥10,000,000 yen for unlicensed fishing in in Japan’s EEZ. The new fines went into effect Dec. 7.
At a Nov. 21 press conference, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lei told reporters that China was taking a “serious and solemn” approach in dealing with issue,” had “strengthened the administration by adopting a holistic approach,” and that this was achieving “good results” in decreasing the number of fishing boats engaged in coral harvesting. On Nov. 27, the press officer at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo said that China’s strict enforcement of its laws had produced good results, China was strengthening cooperation with Japan, and management of related problems would be dealt with by enforcing existing laws. As of Dec. 11, the Yokohama prosecutor’s office had indicted three captains of Chinese fishing boats for coral poaching within Japan’s territorial waters.
Post-summit: new Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century
After failing to meet for the past three years, the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century met in Beijing, Dec. 3-4. The co-chairs were Nishimuro Taizo, president of Japan Post Holdings Company, and former Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan. The Japanese delegation also met Premier Li, who emphasized the importance of the China-Japan relationship for regional peace and stability, the need to avoid taking actions that would work against mutual interests, and desirability of dealing with problems in good faith from a long-term perspective. He also noted the importance of building trust through people-to-people exchanges. Li did not address issues related to the Daioyu/Senkaku Islands or Yasukuni Shrine. Tang, however, reportedly told the Japanese that, looking ahead to 2015, China “as a neighbor” is “watching very closely what message the Japanese leaders will convey to the outside world on this occasion.” At a press conference marking the conclusion of the meeting, Nishmuro said “the two sides agreed to continue discussion on what needs to be done to improve Japan-China relations.” Speaking with reference to the pre-summit four-paragraph document, Tang commented that “For now, the important thing is to implement the four agreements.”
On Dec. 19 former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono Yohei met Yu Zhengsheng, fourth-ranking member of the Standing Committee in the Great Hall of the People. Referring to the Kono and Murayama Statements, Yu said that the two statements had clearly expressed Japan’s views toward history and left a deep impression on the Chinese people.
Business and economics
While there was further evidence of deterioration in economic ties, there were some signs that relations might be improving. China’s Ministry of Commerce reported in mid-September that direct investment in August fell 14 percent over August 2013 to $7.2 billion. The August decline followed a drop of nearly 17 percent in July. Japan’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in China plummeted 43.3 percent in the January-August period. Economists attributed the fall-off to the decline in the value of the yen, while Japanese corporate leaders pointed to growing caution about investing in China due to strained political relations. On Nov. 18, China’s Ministry of Commerce reported a 42.9 percent drop in Japanese direct investment in the period January-October over the same period in 2013. The Asahi Shimbun noted that the “rapid devaluation of the yen against the yuan has also resulted in a dramatic increase in operational costs in yen, which is inhibiting investment.”
On Sept. 22-23, a Japan-China Economic Association delegation led by Sakakibara Sadayuki met in Beijing with Chinese economic policy officials from the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. After the meetings, Sakakibara told reporters that Chinese officials were particularly concerned by the fall in Japanese FDI. The Japanese delegation quoted Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng as saying “we don’t want to our economies affected by the chill in politics.” On Nov. 21, 17 Japanese regional banks hosted a business fair in Dalian. The banks reported that 200 Chinese companies, a 40 percent increase over 2013, attended, while the number of Japanese companies increased from 90 to 124.
Meanwhile, yuan appreciation against the yen benefitted Japan’s tourist industry. Japan’s National Tourist Organization reported that Chinese tourists to Japan increased 80.3 percent to 2.0118 million in the January-October period over the same period in 2013.
Although the confrontation between Japan and China in the East China Sea continued in the final months of the year, there were signs that the nature of the confrontation might be changing. Over the past year, Japanese Coast Guard sources have noted a decline in the number of Chinese government ships entering the area. In the year after nationalization, a total of 216 Chinese Coast Guard ships entered Japan’s territorial waters. From 2013 to 2014, the number declined to 101. Intrusions into Japan’s territorial waters averaged approximately 5 times per month in 2012-2013, but declined to 2.8 times per month in 2013-2014. Incursions during this reporting period are included in the chronology. However, Japanese Coast Guard also noted a sharp increase in the number of Chinese fishing boats operating illegally in the area. In 2012, Japan’s Coast Guard ordered 39 ships to leave the area. The number increased to 88 in 2013 and to date in 2014, the number stood at 207.
Japan and China held High-Level Consultations on Maritime Affairs in Qingdao on Sept. 23-24 and agreed in principle to resume talks on a maritime liaison mechanism. Both sides agreed to resume the talks before the end of the year or early in 2015. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga characterized the meeting as “of great significance in terms of crisis management.”
Control of the respective ADIZs remains a concern. On Oct. 3, Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled fighter aircraft in response to the flight of a Chinese Y-9 intelligence aircraft in the area of the East China Sea where the Japanese and Chinese ADIZs overlap. During the April-September period, JASDF scrambled 207 times in response to Chinese aircraft incursions into Japan’s ADIZ, an increase of 149 times over the same period in 2013. Taking a different perspective on the numbers, PLA Spokesperson Yang Yujun called on Japan “to stop such dangerous activities.”
Notwithstanding the Abe-Xi November summit, Japan-China relations are not likely to return soon to the “mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests” of the past. The best that can be expected is very measured progress over the coming months.
September — December 2014
Aug. 29, 2014: Japan’s Ministry of Defense requests a 3.5 percent increase in the defense budget for FY 2015.
Sept. 3, 2014: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo reshuffles his Cabinet, appointing two lawmakers with close connections to China.
Sept. 3, 2014: China commemorates victory over Japan in World War II.
Sept. 6, 2014: PM Abe, while in Bangladesh, calls for summit with President Xi Jinping.
Sept. 10, 2014: Four Chinese Coast Guard ships Haijian 2101, 2166, 2350, and 2337 enter Japan’s territorial waters.
Sept. 11, 2014: Second anniversary of Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands.
Sept. 16, 2014: Japan, China, and ROK finance ministers meet for first time in two years on sidelines of G-20 in Australia.
Sept. 19, 2014: Haijian 2101, 2115, 2151, and 2401 operate in Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus, marking the 42nd consecutive day of Chinese Coast Guard operations in the area.
Sept. 19-25, 2014: Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui visits Japan.
Sept. 22-23, 2014: Japan-China Economic Association delegation meets officials in Beijing.
Sept. 23-24, 2014: High-Level Consultations on Maritime Affairs meeting held in Qingdao.
Sept. 23, 2014: PM Abe calls for a summit with President Xi Jinping.
Sept. 23-29, 2014: Haijian 2101, 2115, 2151, and 2410 operate in Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus.
Sept. 25, 2014: Foreign Ministers Kishida Fumiko and Wang Yi meet in New York City.
Sept. 27, 2014: PM Abe calls for a summit with President Xi.
Sept. 29, 2014: Symposium on Japan-China relations sponsored by Genrron NPO and China Daily is held in Tokyo.
Sept. 30, 2014: China celebrates Martyrs Day as a national holiday for the first time.
Sept. 30, 2014: PM Abe calls again for a summit with President Xi.
Oct. 3, 2014: Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) fighters scramble against flight of Chinese intelligence aircraft in the area of overlapping Japan-China ADIZs.
Oct. 8, 2014: PM Abe, during Upper House Budget Committee meeting, tells members that he senses China is positive to the idea of improving relations.
Oct. 12, 2014: Hong Kong authorities deny port clearance to Chinese civic group attempting to depart for Diaoyu Islands.
Oct. 16, 2014: PM Abe and Premier Li Keqiang shake hands at Asia-Europe Meeting in Italy.
Oct. 17, 2014: Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Takaichi Sanae and 110 members of the Diet pay homage at Yasukuni Shrine during autumn festival.
Oct. 17, 2014: Japanese Coast Guard arrests captain of Chinese fishing boat for poaching red coral in Japan’s EEZ.
Oct. 17-21, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard’s Haijian 2101, 2112, and 2305 operate in Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus; on Oct. 18, they enter Japan’s territorial waters.
Oct. 19, 2014: Chinese ships conduct research in Japan EEZ without prior notification.
Oct. 21, 2014: China, Japan, and ROK hold consultations on cybersecurity in Beijing.
Oct. 23, 2014: Liberal Democratic Party General Council Chairman Nikai Toshihio broaches idea of removal of Class-A war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine.
Oct. 24-Nov. 1, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard Haijian 2101, 2112, and 2305 operate in Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus; on Oct. 30 they enter Japan’s territorial waters.
Oct. 27, 2014: Chinese ships conduct research in Japan EEZ with prior notification.
Oct. 28, 2014: Japanese and Chinese private-sector groups agree to establish foundation to provide financial support to Chinese suffering from exposure to chemical weapons abandoned by Japan’s Imperial Army.
Oct. 29, 2014: Former Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo meets President Xi in Beijing.
Oct. 29, 2014: Foreign Minister Wang tells reporters it is an “objective fact” that there are problems between China and Japan; he hopes Japan would face issues squarely with sincerity.
Oct. 29-30, 2014: Scholars and members of Chinese and Japanese NGOs meet in Beijing to discuss security issues.
Nov. 3, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard ships Haijian 2305 and 2401 enter Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkakus.
Nov. 6, 2014: PLA officers participate in an Asia-Pacific Multilateral Security Cooperation Program in Tokyo for the first time in two years.
Nov. 6, 2014: Japanese and Chinese police officials meet in Tokyo to discuss issues related to criminal activities related to drugs and cyber crime.
Nov. 6-7, 2014: National Security Advisor Yachi Shotaro meets State Councilor Yang Jiechi in Beijing to advance Abe-Xi summit.
Nov. 7, 2014: Chinese and Japanese governments release four-paragraph statement on bilateral relations.
Nov. 8, 2014: Foreign Ministers Kishida and Wang meet in Beijing; Kishida raises issue of coral poaching in Japan’s EEZ.
Nov. 10, 2014: PM Abe and President Xi meet for 25 minutes at APEC forum in Beijing.
Nov. 18, 2014: China’s Ministry of Commerce reports a 42.9 percent decline in Japanese investment in China for the period January-October 2014.
Nov. 20-29, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard ships Haijijan 2101, 2151, and 2337 operate in Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus; on Nov. 29, the ships entered Japan’s territorial waters.
Nov. 21, 2014: Japanese regional banks hold business fair in Dalian.
Nov. 23, 2014: Japan, China, and ROK health ministers meet in Beijing.
Nov. 28, 2014: Japan, China, and ROK trade ministers meet in Tokyo.
Nov. 30, 2014: Chinese and Japanese authorities attend ceremonies in Jilin province to mark opening of facility to dispose of chemical weapons abandoned by the Imperial Army.
Dec. 2, 2014: Japan-China Mekong policy dialogue meets in Beijing.
Dec. 3-4, 2014: New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century meets in Beijing for the first time in three years; Japanese delegation meets Premier Li.
Dec. 5-7, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard ships Haijian 2112, 2113, and 2305 operate in Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus. When warned by Japanese Coast Guard not to enter Japan’s territorial waters, Chinese ships reply that the Japanese ships are in Chinese administered waters and ask Japanese ships to observe Chinese laws and regulations.
Dec. 6, 2014: Japan Ministry of Defense reports People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ships pass through international waters between Okinawa and Miyakojima to conduct exercises in the western Pacific.
Dec. 6-7, 2014: JASDF scrambles in response to PLA Air Force (one Y-9, intelligence gathering aircraft; two Y-8 early warning aircraft, and two H-6 bombers) flights through international airspace between Okinawa and Miyakojima; PLA planes did not enter Japan’s airspace.
Dec. 13, 2014: China commemorates 77th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.
Dec. 13, 2014: Japan’s Ministry of Defense reports PLA ships return from exercises in western Pacific passing in international waters between Okinawa and Miyakojima.
Dec. 14, 2014: LDP-Komeito coalition wins election victory in Japan; Xinhua warns against “right-wing” trend in Japanese politics.
Dec. 14, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard ships Haijian 2112, 2113 and 2305 operate within Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus.
Dec. 21, 2014: Japan Coast Guard arrests Chinese ship captain for coral poaching in Japan’s territorial waters.
Dec. 22, 2014: Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide refuses to comment on reports that China is constructing radar facilities 300 km from the Senkakus, but states that the government is paying careful attention to China’s expanding maritime activities in the East China Sea.
Dec 23, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard ships Haijian 2166 and 2401 enter Japan’s territorial waters in the Senkakus, marking the 31st incursion in 2014.
Dec. 24, 2014: Nakatani Gen becomes Japan’s minister of defense.
Dec. 25, 2014: Japan Ministry of Defense reports four PLA ships pass through Soya Strait between Sakhalin and Hokkaido into the northern Pacific; on Dec. 28, the ships return to East China Sea though Tsushima Strait.
Dec. 25, 2014: Japan Coast Guard observes Chinese research ship in Japan EEZ.
Dec. 26, 2014: Japan’s Comprehensive Ocean Policy Office meets; commits to review policy to maintain remote islands territorial integrity.
Dec. 26-27, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard ships Haijian 2102, 2166, and 2401 enter Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus.
Dec. 28, 2014: Japan-China environment ministers meet in Beijing.
Dec. 29, 2014: Sankei Shimbun reports that Abe government will request funds for construction of three new Coast Guard ships in its supplemental budget.
Dec. 30, 2014: Chinese Coast Guard ships Haijian 2102, 2166, and 2401 enter Japan’s contiguous zone near the Senkakus; replies to Japan Coast Guard warning that they are carrying a regular patrol in Chinese administered waters.