U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America first” diplomacy demonstrated during his November visit to five Asian nations will likely intensify the competition and rivalry between Japan and China over their respective influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Although Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed a “fresh start” for the Japan-China relations during their meeting held on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam last month, the prospect for an early improvement of Tokyo-Beijing ties appears rather slim, given the fundamental differences in their respective global strategies, not to mention thorny issues that have frozen the bilateral ties for years, such as differences in interpretation of their past history, the disputed islands in the East China Sea, and China’s aggressive maritime activities in the South China Sea.

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