A new gov’t and future of Japan-China ties

Fumio Kishida, leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, stands during a special Diet session in Tokyo on Oct 4, 2021. Kishida was elected on Oct 4 as the country’s new prime minister to succeed Yoshihide Suga. [Photo/Xinhua]

Fumio Kishida became the 100th prime minister of Japan, and a new Cabinet took office in the country on Oct 4. Although there will be a general election on Oct 31 and it is still too early to predict the future political situation in Japan in the aftermath of Yoshihide Suga’s resignation as prime minister, I would like to see Kishida fulfill his mission as long as he stays in power.

Steering the wheel of Japan’s diplomacy and security policy, the Kishida Cabinet’s task is particularly important at a time when the situation across the world including in East Asia has become unstable due to the intensified competition between the United States and China. Unfortunately, the Kishida Cabinet’s diplomacy and security policies are very likely to be an extension of those of former prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Kishida’s victory in the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election on Sept 29 was largely due to the support of former Abe and former vice-president Taro Aso. Kishida will not be able to ignore Abe’s opinions, especially in terms of foreign and security policies. In the latter half of his term, Abe tried to maintain a certain balance between the US and China, but since resigning as prime minister he has not abstained from his hawkish remarks.

Sanae Takaichi contested well the LDP presidential election and won the post of a chair of the LDP’s Policy Research Council. This fact means that more right-wing conservatives have extended their influence among the party’s parliamentary representatives and ordinary members.

They are the people who are trying to turn back the historical clock and insisting that ministers visit the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 class-A among other war criminals. So it is necessary to pay close attention to how much power Kishida, who will be under pressure from conservatives, can exert in order to realize Japan’s true national interests and just historical perception.

There are quite a few areas of cooperation between Japan and China that are win-win for both sides, such as environmental protection, energy generation, education and social security. Of course, the economy is also one of them. Although trade between Japan and China in 2020 decreased compared with 2019 for the second consecutive year, the ratio of trade with China to Japan’s total trade reached a record high of 23.9 percent.

In order to recover from the novel coronavirus pandemic, it is essential for Japan to strengthen its economic relations with China in many areas including tourism. If the pandemic is effectively controlled, Japan will gradually lift the ban on overseas travel, starting with the business sector. And as long as the objective criteria are met, people-to-people exchanges with China should also resume along with those with other countries.

Former US president Donald Trump ​​put economic security on the forefront of the US foreign policy. The Joe Biden…

Read More: A new gov’t and future of Japan-China ties

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Live News

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.