Chinese Military Spending Remains Obstacle to Sino-Japanese Détente

Chinese Military Spending Remains Obstacle to Sino-Japanese Détente

Cao Gangchuan recently completed the first visit by a Chinese defense minister to Japan since then-minister Chi Haotian made such a trip in February 1998. During Cao's five-day sojourn, he met with senior Japanese political and military leaders, including the new Japanese Defense Minister, Masahiko Komura.

Cao's visit to Japan helped advance the modest détente that has characterized Sino-Japanese relations since Shinzo Abe became Japanese prime minister in September 2006. Abe has prioritized improving the ties between China and Japan, which had deteriorated sharply under his predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi. Cao invited Komura to make an official visit to China sometime next year.

The most interesting feature of the talks between the two defense establishments concerned their plans for Sino-Japanese military confidence-building measures. For several years, the two countries have discussed expanding defense exchanges and establishing a direct military-to-military hotline. Later this year, a Chinese warship is scheduled to dock at a Japanese port for the first time since World War II. The Japanese navy is preparing for a reciprocal port visit to China sometime next year. The two ministers also discussed the possible presence of Japanese monitors at a Chinese military exercise next month.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.