Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Takashi Arimoto

【#957】Opposing a Japan-China Summit on September 29

Takashi Arimoto / 2022.08.31 (Wed)

August 29, 2022

September 29 will mark the 50th anniversary of Japan’s normalization of relations with China. Holding a virtual meeting between the two countries’ top leaders to commemorate the anniversary is reportedly being considered. I oppose a Japan-China summit on the day because now is not the time to celebrate such anniversary.

On August 4, China fired five ballistic missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone for the first time. Japan has made a strong protest without receiving no apology from China. Instead, a spokesperson at the Chinese embassy in Tokyo issued a statement saying that Japan had colonized Taiwan over a long time, shoulders responsibility for inerasable historical crimes against Chinese people including Taiwanese and is least qualified to make such complaints against China.

The statement unilaterally asserted that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory and that it will be inevitable and historically natural for China to achieve its complete unification. The assertion that Taiwan is part of China is fictitious. The Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan. People in Taiwan have created a history that differs from the history of the Chinese continent.

Xi sent a telegram wishing Kishida a recovery

While warning against Japan, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a telegram to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida who was infected with COVID-19. While wishing Kishida a speedy recovery, Xi referred to the 50th anniversary of the normalization and expressed hope to “work with [Kishida] in promoting the development of China-Japan relations” to meet needs in a new era.

The Chinese economy is feared to slow down due to the pandemic and electricity shortages. In addition to facing Western sanctions over the suppression of democratization in Hong Kong and human rights abuse against Uyghur in Xinjiang, Beijing is going through deep confrontation with Washington over Taiwan. China tends to exploit Japan to tide over difficulties. In 1992 after the Tiananmen massacre in which Beijing suppressed democracy movement by force, Beijing took advantage of then Japanese Emperor Akihito’s visit to China to break away from its international isolation.

This time, Beijing may attempt to exploit the 50th anniversary of the China-Japan normalization to realize a bilateral summit and promote a friendly mood. Just after China fired ballistic missiles into Japan’s EEZ, however, now is not the right time to celebrate the anniversary.

Kishida can meet Xi at G20

If a Japan-China summit is being considered, Kishida can seek his first face-to-face meeting with Xi on the sideline of a Group of 20 gathering on Bali Island, Indonesia, in November in which Xi reportedly plans to take part.

“We [Japan and China] should not reject leaders’ exchange in any situation,” The late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an interview with the Sankei Shimbun newspaper on October 12, 2020. The reason is that Xi is the only person who can make decisions in China under the dictatorial political system.

I reiterate that it is harmful for Japan to have a summit meeting with China in a manner to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the normalization of relations.

Takashi Arimoto is a Planning Committee member at the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals and publisher of Monthly Magazine SEIRON at the Sankei Shimbun newspaper.