Home China Japan Is ‘Two-Faced’ Says People’s Daily, Tokyo Provoking Confrontation

Japan Is ‘Two-Faced’ Says People’s Daily, Tokyo Provoking Confrontation

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By Chinese standards, it’s probably par for the course. On Thursday, an editorial in the People’s Daily slammed Japan for being “two-faced,” accusing it of falsely depicting China as a regional security threat while simultaneously seeking more stable bilateral relations. The editorial warned that China would take measures if Tokyo acted irresponsibly.

The editorial was referring to last week’s address to the U.S. Congress by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida who described China’s military manoeuvres as “an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge” facing the world today. He pledged to deepen strategic cooperation with Washington, identifying the military actions of China and Russia as the primary threats.

In an editorial on Thursday, the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper said Japan claimed to be promoting bilateral relations but was also attempting to provoke confrontation by exaggerating China as a threat, describing Japan as “typical of a ‘two-faced person’ with no credibility”.

People’s Daily in the editorial accused Japan of exaggerating the security threat as an excuse for its own military build-up.

The editorial further criticised U.S. and Japanese discussions on Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory, labelling them as “gross” interference in China’s internal affairs. Japan’s foreign ministry has not yet responded to a Reuters request for comment regarding the editorial.

Tokyo’s moves to strengthen ties with its former World War Two enemy to counter Beijing have increasingly hindered the outlook for any near-term rapprochement between Japan and China, whose ties have come under strain over issues from Japan’s release of treated radioactive water into the ocean to China’s detention of Japanese citizens on suspicion of espionage.

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Japan and China have also clashed over mutual maritime claims in the East China Sea, as well as China’s actions against the Philippines’ territorial claims in the South China Sea.

To bolster the economic and trade aspects of their relationship, Japanese business leaders travelled to China in January for their first visit since 2019.

Japan relies heavily on China, where Japanese companies have for years invested in manufacturing supply chains and forged relationships with local partners.

“If the Japanese side remains obsessed with ulterior motives and misconceptions about China, and acts recklessly, the Chinese side will resolutely make necessary responses,” the editorial said.

With Inputs From Reuters