Comparing the state of Japan-China relations in the wake of Shinzo Abe's return to the prime ministership in December 2012 to today, the bilateral relationship has come back to a semblance of normality.

During this transition period, we had Japanese and Chinese ambassadors dueling on the BBC, comparing each other's political leaders to the Harry Potter villain Voldemort in a farcical war of words. We had the Chinese government hold the 70th anniversary of the victory of the "Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression," and Abe himself was vilified "a political villain, who was much like the terrorists and fascists on the commonly seen blacklists."

During the same period according to the Defense Ministry, verbal jousting has been accompanied by Japanese jets being scrambled to intercept Chinese military aircraft approaching its airspace 638 times in fiscal year 2018, an increase of 27.6 percent compared to 2017. These incursions into Japanese airspace continue to occur alongside regular incursions by Chinese government and other vessels into Japan's territorial sea and associated contiguous zone.