For Japan’s new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and his administration, the year of 2013 has begun with rather busy schedules.
From 16 to 19 January 2013, less than one month since his ascension to premiership on 26 December 2012, Shinzo Abe embarked on his first foreign visit to three South-east Asian countries. Concurrently, his special envoy Katsuyuki Kawai, Chairman of the Japanese Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, was also busy visiting Europe in an attempt to lobby NATO into “joint cooperation against China’s maritime rise”.
The momentum got checked, however, as Abe’s initiative to visit U.S. in January prior to Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration was turned down due to the latter’s busy preparations with his inauguration.
Despite this embarrassing episode, the White House announced Abe will visit the United States from 21 to 24 February 2013.
To what extent has this list of “diplomatic gestures” demonstrated by the new Abe’s administration been targeting China? And how does this hardline exterior of his administration will affect the development of Sino-Japan relations hereafter?
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