What India-China-Japan Relations Could Mean for Global Currents

Shinzo Abe attends at the ASEM leaders summit in Brussels Belgium Friday. Francois Lenoir, Reuters

During Abe's visit, the leaders will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of a treaty between the two countries that was meant to set the tone for their relations following the Second World War.

"Japan is also at the forefront of engaging in our national initiatives, such as "Make in India",;Skill India", "Digital India", "Start Up India'".

Xi reiterated the importance of keeping promises, noting that China and Japan should "act on the basis of their four political documents and consensus, deal with problems and differences constructively, so as to maintain the political foundation guiding healthy development of bilateral ties".

Ahead of the briefing, China and Japan signed an agreement to boost cooperation in the securities markets including the listing of exchange-trade funds (ETFs), and facilitate smoother customs clearance.

According to Abe, former residents of the Islands for the second year fly there planes and visit the graves of ancestors, "in the direction of implement moved and the question on joint economic activity". They are also expected to discuss North Korea and the U.S.

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Hsiesh noted that information now available suggests Japan and China will discuss cooperation in the fields of security and finance, and that Abe is likely to invite Xi Jinping personally to attend the June 2019 G20 summit in Osaka.

Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and development aid under Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme, of which India is the largest recipient, will be the key focus areas during the summit. For Tokyo, these bilateral talks showcase Japan's commitment to diplomacy, deepen economic engagement with China, and build multilateral trade by accelerating both the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (an alternative to TPP) and trilateral negotiations between for a South Korea, Japan, and China free-trade agreement.

While that feud remains unresolved, trade and investment have recovered and companies from the two sides are exploring joint investments in third countries such as Thailand.

He said discussions will also take place on Delhi's mass rapid transit system, some hydro electric and road projects and how Japan can help in improving infrastructure in the Northeastern states.

Diplomatic observers said the spat between China and the USA provided an excuse for Beijing to get closer to Tokyo, but said that tensions between the two could still erupt.

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"From competition to co-existence, Japan and China bilateral relations have entered a new phase", Mr Abe said Friday. Is Japan at a similar cusp wherein long-term strategic decisions have to be arrived at in relation to China?

With such concerns in mind, Japan is enthusiastically participating in an informal, implicitly anti-China alliance with the United States, India and Australia, which has become known as "the quad".

"If Xi promises to come to Japan next year, that would be very big", said Mr Kiyoyuki Seguchi, research director at the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo.

"Important universal issues including for example human rights and freedom of the press, those important principles and our position on those issues will not be compromised", Osuga said.

In the past year, China has stepped up its outreach to Japan and others as it locked horns over trade with the United States.

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Kunihiko Miyake, a former Japanese diplomat who is now visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University, said: "Nobody thinks ties with China have completely recovered, and they shouldn't think that".

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