A triumphant China is good news for Japan. As odd it may look, the health of Beijing is beneficial to Tokyo.
On the other side of the Yellow Sea, lays Japan’s biggest recipient of both its investments and export. China is crucial to the prosperity of the archipelago. So, if the Dragon takes over Japan as second biggest economy in the world, no much concern is felt. This easiness, though, does not heal the wounds of the past.
The loveless relationship between the two countries goes back to the Japanese brutal occupation of China during the first half of last century. According to the Chinese, Japan took only a slight responsibility for the harsh times imposed to China. Tokyo never went beyond its expression of regret, which is insufficient to China. Unlike Germany, Japan never fully admitted its responsibility and did not do a collective “mea culpa” like Germany did after WW II. Still Japan schools’ textbooks tell a different history from the one learnt in China.
Thus, the lack of true mutual affection remains. The opposite example comes from the current friendship between France and Germany, whose post war Premiers: Mitterrand and Kohl held their hands for 10 minutes in the former battlefield of Verdun where a million dead from both sides are buried. Something missing between the two Asian neighbour.