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Japan drops plans to make 'aggressive' China key part of its new foreign policy

By Abdul Nisar

Tokyo, Nov 18 (ANI): Taken a back by China's aggressive behaviour during a recent territorial dispute over the Senkaku islands, Japan has reportedly dropped its earlier plans to develop ties with Beijing as a key part of its new foreign policy.

Japan is now reportedly seeking support from its traditional ally America, and other Asian countries that think on the same wavelength about the regional implications of China's rise.

The Christian Science Monitor quoted a government official, as saying that the efforts of Japan's former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to re-balance his country's relationships with Washington and Beijing is no more an agenda in his successor Naoto Kan's government.

"Re-balancing is not on anyone's agenda now. It's been tried and it failed. The crisis over the Senkaku islands (known to Chinese as the Diaoyu) has beefed up Japan's relations with America again," he said.

Masaru Kohno, professor of politics at Waseda University in Tokyo, has said that since Hatoyama's resignation last June, Kan "has cancelled everything that Hatoyama did" to modify Japan's two most important foreign relationships.

"Anti-Chinese feeling is growing more entrenched among Japan's political class and ordinary people," he added.

However, Japanese policymakers are of the opinion that sooner than later, they would have to figure out ways to improve relations with their biggest trade partner.

"Tense relations between Japan and China have negative consequences for the whole of East Asia. And we cannot just move out of the region," the paper quoted a Foreign Ministry official, as saying.

The relations between the two countries suffered a setback after it was reported last month that China had blocked shipments of key minerals for political reasons, after Tokyo detained a Chinese trawler captain over ownership of the Senkaku islands, valuable fisheries and seabed energy resources in the East China Sea. (ANI)

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