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Mending Fences in North-East Asia January 15, 2007

Posted by David in North-East Asia.
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Japans new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, seems to have the right idea when it comes to Japan and its place in the world, more precisely within North-East Asia.

Building stronger military ties with the US, and improving the countrys constitution, where the military and the right for Japan to protect itself (and interests) are concerned, is very important. However, most important of all, is improving relations with the soon-to-be-regional-top-dog, China.

In order for Japan to continue being an important player in the region, once China becomes the larger economy, a strong military, and good neighbour relations are key components to any strategy. Abe knows and understands the facts and since becoming PM has been acting in the best interest of his country.

During the latest East Asian Summit meeting signs of warming relations were loud and clear, where, according to todays BBC News, The summit was marked by an improvement in relations between regional rivals China and Japan, and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is now scheduled to travel to Japan in April.

Although the China Daily (January 15, 2007) doesnt specify a certain date and/or time for the visit, they do confirm the improvement of relations between the two countries and note that the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, had accepted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s invitation to visit Japan in spring.

If Japan does manage to amend its constitution, and all the changes Abe wants done, do happen, and if the economy continues to recover and expand, China may have to wait a little longer before becoming the dominant power in the region.

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