After being halted for a year due to tensions over a maritime incident in the Senkaku Islands, a defense exchange program between Japan and China will resume on Oct. 19, when young officers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will visit Japan.
The PLA officers will inspect Japan Self-Defense Forces and private companies during their visit, which will last through Oct. 30.
The program was established in 2001 by the Sasakawa Japan-China Friendship Fund and other organizations, aiming to promote exchanges among field-grade officers.
Under the program, 10 to 20 defense officers visit each other’s countries every year. (Link)
The program was halted by the Chinese after the Senkaku trawler incident of 2010. Here’s a Xinhua article about last year’s exchange.
Last week China announced it was scaling back cooperation between it and the United States over the proposed upgrade of Taiwanese aircraft. China views such exchanges as a reward for good behavior. What authoritarian China may be missing its that such exchanges get the Chinese perspective out among Japanese and American officers, which is probably the best option for increasing understanding between the two sides.
A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch