No Home Run: China-Japan Summit Punts Contentious Issues

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Imagery of weather and baseball dominated Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s visit to China at the end of 2007. Greeting Fukuda in Beijing, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao observed that, “Although it is a chilly winter day, we can feel the warmth from friendly China-Japan relations here.” The Chinese had characterized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s October 2006 visit as “ice-breaking,” while terming Wen’s April 2007 trip to Japan as “ice-thawing.” The most publicized event of the summit occurred when Fukuda and Wen, dressed in baseball uniforms, tossed a ball back and forth in front of the cameras to symbolize […]

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