Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio's official visit to Beijing from April 29 to May 1, the first trip to China by a Japanese Foreign Minister since November 2011, represented renewed effort to mend the frayed relationship between Asia's two most powerful countries (South China Morning Post, April 30). The visit came as the two sides continue to spar over the Senkaku Islands—which Japan administers but China claims and refers to as the Diaoyu Islands—and Tokyo becomes increasingly concerned about the implications of China's growing military power and more assertive foreign policy. These direct bilateral tensions are fueling an intense regional competition for friends and influence, as China's One Belt One Road initiative seeks to consolidate inroads into Asia and Africa while excluding Japan, and Japan provides military aid to China's rival claimants in the South China Sea.
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