Japan, China normalize diplomatic relations

Japan and China normalize relations 27 years after the end of World War II, as Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka visits Beijing for meetings with Mao Tse-tung and Premier Chou En-lai. He also signs documents to restore diplomatic relations. The move formally recognizes the People's Republic of China as the official government of China and in doing so Japan breaks diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, far left, meets with Chinese Premier Chou En-lai in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Sept. 25, 1972, prior to the signing of documents to normalize diplomatic relations. The decision to normalize relations was pushed forward by the surprise announcement in 1971 by U.S. President Richard Nixon that he would visit Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders.
Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, foreground, and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai wave to onlookers at Beijing airport where the two boarded a flight for Shanghai. Members of the People's Liberation Army as well as elementary and junior high school students and workers were brought to the airport to see the two leaders off.
A group of Japanese dignitaries, including former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, meet with Chinese government officials, including Hu Jintao, the incoming Chinese president, at a ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary of the normalization of relations held at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Sept. 28, 2002.
Protesters carrying portraits of Mao Tse-tung march in front of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing on Sept. 18, 2012, demonstrating against Japan's purchase of the Senkaku Islands from a private landowner. The Chinese government also announced that a ceremony to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations that had been scheduled to be held in Beijing would be canceled.
Protesters smash the windows of a Japanese department store in Changsha, Hunan province, in September 2012 to protest Japan's purchase of the Senkaku Islands. Often violent protests broke out in close to 100 cities before Chinese authorities clamped down on the demonstrations after about a week of unrest.
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