News analysis

Deep-rooted issues in the way of rosier ties between Beijing, Tokyo

History and strategic rivalry could limit progress as two sides pursue closer relations

BEIJING - Just this month, Beijing rebuked Tokyo at least twice.

The first time had to do with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ritual donation to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honours Japanese war dead including those involved in the 1937-1945 war against China. The second was over Tokyo's release of a defence White Paper on Tuesday that raised concerns about China's escalation of military activities in areas close to Japan. Both are indications that while relations between the two neighbours and regional rivals are improving, there are issues of history and strategic antagonism that could limit the progress.

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