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Uneasy China-Japan Festival Shows Rift Between Asian Powers

  • Neighbors mark half-century of ties with low-key events
  • Leaders are yet to meet, foreign ministers only met online
Dancers perform during an event marking the 50th anniversary of ties between Japan and China.
Dancers perform during an event marking the 50th anniversary of ties between Japan and China.Photographer: Yuki Hagiwara/Bloomberg
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Women dancing in swirling costumes, musicians, food vendors and even a former prime minister battled to generate a festive atmosphere at an event marking the 50th anniversary of ties between Japan and China, held in a rain-sodden Tokyo park last Saturday.

The low-key celebrations symbolize the renewed frictions between Asia’s biggest economies, which face growing geopolitical barriers to restoring friendly ties -- or even just stabilizing relations. Neither leader was scheduled to attend events on Thursday commemorating the anniversary of the normalization of relations in 1972.