Japan-China relations rewinds, Several Japanese companies want to leave China

Himalaya Moscow Katysua Yinhe

On January 1, 2020, Japan’s Kyodo news agency said, one of Japan’s 96 listed companies in foreign investment regulation participated in a questionnaire survey, nearly forty percent (42 companies) is to adjust the enterprise’s supply chain, they are relocating production bases from China to Southeast Asia, India, and other places, it’s to avoid the US-China economic “decoupling” and an over-concentration of the supply chain within China. In addition, a list of overseas communist parties published by Australia have been confirmed to have penetrated into the core communication, science, technology, military and other fields of various countries. In view of the recent allegations accused by America of the Communist Party of China stealing information on scientific and technological achievements. Nearly 60% of the enterprises surveyed said that they would conduct internal training on employees and implement key technology locking to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information.

Yoshihide Suga, who took over as Japan’s prime minister on September 16 after former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unexpectedly resigned early in August 2020 due to health reasons, publicly stated that “Japan’s diplomacy is based on the Japan-US alliance, and should conduct close exchanges with Asian countries on this basis. There are many difficult problems between Japan and China, and we should continue to use the opportunity of high-level dialogue to flexibly solve any issues.” With the continuous deterioration of US-China relations, the escalation of the Japan-China conflict over the Diaoyu Islands and the impact of the Chinese Communist Party virus have led to Japan-China relations transformation after the new prime minister took office, which is different from the pro-China policy during the Abe period.

Under Abe, Japan’s relations with China have improved slowly but significantly. In line with the adjustment of US-China relations and balancing domestic interests, Abe has led the improvement of Japan-China relations through high-level diplomatic visits. But since the outbreak of the virus in China, disputes over territory and values have resurfaced, forcing Japan to re-clarify its policy toward China. Abe’s resignation can be interpreted as the Japanese government adjusting its policy towards the Communist Party of China.

In October 2020, Chinese vessels stayed in territorial waters around the Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyu, and engaged in a lengthy standoff with Japanese vessels, breaking the previous record for stopover time in the area. China ignored a request by the Japanese Coast Guard to leave. The party’s move is seen as a test of Japan’s new government. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga responded defiantly, directly addressing the tensions over the Diaoyu Islands and concerns about the Hong Kong version of the National Security Law in his first conversation with Mr. Xi.

At the end of October 2020, Japan and the United States launched the “RuiJian 21” large-scale land, sea and air military exercise to “demonstrate the strength of the Japan-US alliance.” In early November, Japan launched “Malabar 2020” a joint exercise with the United States, India and Australia in the Bay of Bengal. Since then, all four members of the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue” have come together to resist the Communist party’s military expansion.

Japan, the United States, India and Australia have held a “Quadripartite Security Dialogue” to promote “free and open Indo-Pacific”. The topic discussed included that the East and South China Seas military activities, are a counterattack to China’s quest for dominance in the Asia-Pacific waters. Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s prime minister, has visited Vietnam and Indonesia since taking office. Suga said Japan would help members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Indonesia and Vietnam, fight maritime conflicts caused by illegal fishing, a reference to the Communist Party. In addition, Suga and Australian Prime Minister Morrison reached an agreement on a Reciprocal access agreement. This is a defence agreement landmark between the two countries under the Indo-Pacific strategic framework.

Due to the impact of military conflict and epidemic, the Japanese people’s perception of China has deteriorated. Nearly 90 percent of Japanese people have a “negative” impression of the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to a survey released on November 17. The friendly relations between China and Japan are getting worse and worse.

Quoting an editorial from Taiwan’s Wang Daily, “Japanese Defence Minister Kono refers to the mainland as an ‘expansionist country’ and expects the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance to allow the integration of Japan to form a ‘Six Eyes’ alliance. This will undoubtedly give a ‘vote of confidence’ to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who calls for ‘building a multinational alliance encirclement around China’.”

As the United States and China conflicts intensifies, the relationship between Japan and China also faces a turning point. Once the truth of the Chinese virus proven as a biological weapon then the encirclement and defeat of the Chinese Communist Party by every country will be inevitable. The Communist Party of China is running out of time.

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