For more than six months, China and Japan have experienced tense relations as the two countries argue over island territories. Some believe that this argument has both nations close to military confrontation. Recently, however, both sides are attempting to bridge the gap, resuming visits to both sides and relaxing these diplomatic pressures. Friendly visits had been suspended after last September’s announcement that Japan was nationalizing the Senkaku Islands. China, who refers to them as the Diaoyu Islands, also claims sovereignty over them.
The second-largest and third-largest economies in the world were then bushed to the brink of military attack. Trade has diminished, coming with the consumer boycott in China of Japanese products (specifically cars). Thus, these friendly visits by both sides presents a great opportunity for the countries to try to work out their issues. Plans for a summit between leaders in Japan, China, and South Korea have not been set in stone, but it is believed the countries will meet in May. Hopefully, after that meeting, the two nations (who also play a critical role in relations with North and South Korea) will be steps closer toward achieving an agreement with respect to the islands. How long do you all think this issue will remain “hot-button”?