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China and Japan draw closer as Asia’s diplomatic order shifts

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China and Japan draw closer as Asia’s diplomatic order shifts-

Beijing and Tokyo marked a new high-point in their recent diplomatic relations on Wednesday when Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang began a three-day state visit in Japan, the first by a top Chinese leader in eight years.

Amid a shared fear of being left out of the whirlwind diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula and regional tremors caused by US President Donald Trump’s economic isolationism, longstanding rivals China and Japan have found more reason to engage with each other and the region.
“Both China and Japan are suffering from what the young people call FOMO (fear of missing out),” Rana Mitter, a history professor at the University of Oxford and director of its China Center told CNN.
“There is a danger of a new arrangement in their region in which both Japan and China have an interest without their full participation.”
Japan fears that any deal struck with North Korea will ignore its concerns, while China is working hard to make sure that Kim Jong Un doesn’t move out of its sphere of influence.

Bitter territorial disputes over East China Sea islands and long-running grievances dating back to World War II have led to regular outbreaks of hostilities between China and Japan. At one point, ties became so bad that the two sides resorted to invoking Voldemort, the fictional villain in the Harry Potter books, in their verbal barbs about each other.
But the past year has seen something of a rapprochement between the two, including the first phone call between Abe and Xi earlier this month.

Three-way meeting

Before the state visit, Li took part in a trilateral meeting on Wednesday morning with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, to discuss the outcome of April’s historic Korean summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Japan and South Korea have also been on frosty terms in recent years, over ongoing disputes and recriminations around the Japanese military’s actions in World War II.
Moon, Abe and Li held their discussions at the State Guest House in Tokyo on Wednesday morning, before the South Korean leader departs in the afternoon.
“The whole world is closely looking at the Korean Peninsula and North East Asia. I’m sure that a close cooperation among three countries will create peace and prosperity in the region,” Moon said after the meeting, which was the first trilateral talks since a 2015 summit in South Korea
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