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Historic port call marks Japan-China thaw

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A Japanese war ship made a port call in China this week for the first time since World War II, as East Asia's two leading powers seek to forge stronger ties and turn the page on their troubled past.

The visit comes on the heels of a landmark deal last week between Tokyo and Beijing to jointly develop gas fields in the East China Sea, and an ice-breaking visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Japan in May.

Analysts see these events as part of a broad trend of warming relations between the historic rivals. But they cautioned that the two nations have failed to resolve dangerous, underlying disputes in the East China Sea.

The Associated Press reported that the Japanese destroyer Sazanami arrived Tuesday in Zhanjiang, a port city in southern Guangdong Province, on what was officially a humanitarian relief mission.


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