China and Japan have in the past few years seen their relations frequently strained by various provocative incidents created by the Japanese side, thanks in no small part to the right-leaning sentiment that has been gaining traction in the island nation.
Homage trips by high-ranking Japanese officials to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine honoring Class A war criminals, statements by high-profile politicians seeking to whitewash Japan's wartime atrocities during World War II (WWII), and revisions of textbooks in trying to hide Japan's abhorrent role during that period from the younger generations... Such are all potent poisons for China-Japan ties.
China always responds to such misdeeds or wrongful statements with reasons, but the reaction is by no means a result of China's "over-sensitiveness" toward Japan, as some Japanese have claimed.
Not to mention that China deserves a better reflection by Japan on that part of history, China is also playing its part in preventing a possible reoccurrence of such a dark chapter in human history by demanding Tokyo play a more responsible role over the issue.
China always believes that friendship between the two countries is beneficial not only to the two peoples, but also to Asia and the world at large.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping said while meeting a Japanese delegation on Saturday, peace and friendly cooperation between China and Japan is a common will of the two peoples, and the general trend of development.
The onus is now on the leaders of Japan to reciprocate the friendly tone and take concrete actions to mend frayed ties with China.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the WWII. Contrary to the perception that it is a shameful moment for Japan, it actually presents Japan a perfect opportunity to show the world, particularly to countries that suffered bitterly under Japanese aggression, that it has learnt lessons from history and has no intention to repeat its militarist past.
Only with sincere apologies to the victims of its wartime atrocities and true remorse over its horrendous role during WWII, could Japan win the forgiveness from many Asian countries including China and South Korea, and eventually be accepted as a honest nation.
"If you are virtuous, you will not be lonely, and you will always have friends," Xi quoted great ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius during his meeting with the Japanese delegation, and Tokyo should be reminded that the ancient wisdom that serves as a guiding principle of interpersonal relations also applies to relations between countries.