There are signs that economic cooperation between China and Japan, stagnant for the past several years amid frigid bilateral relations, is being revived.

One of the signs was a recent visit by the secretaries general of Japan's ruling coalition parties — Toshihiro Nikai of the Liberal Democratic Party and Yoshihisa Inoue of Komeito — to Xiamen, Fujian province, in late December. There they met with Chinese Communist Party officials and issued a joint proposal that Japan and China seek out ways to cooperate on concrete projects under China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative for cross-continental infrastructure investment. The two countries should make serious efforts in both economic and political fields to remove obstacles that hamper the strengthening of mutual cooperation.

In November, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in their talks in Danang, Vietnam, to expedite efforts toward improving the bilateral ties. In his speech in Beijing last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who used to take a severe public stance on Japan, expressed hope that relations will soon return to normal so that friendship between the two countries will get back on track.