The visit will of course by the first visit to China by a Japanese warship since the end of World War II.
The Chinese media is now reporting (according to Sankei) that not only will the Sazanami‘s crew be participating in Sino-Japanese friendship events in Zhanjiang, but the Sazanami will be delivering relief supplies for Sichuan.
The visit in and of itself is not particularly significant, other than its being the first since the war. But the more these exchanges become routine (the less news agencies feel the need to report on them), the better it will be for the relationship and for the region. And the harder it will be for the Japanese right to paint China simply as Japan’s enemy in an emerging cold war. Bilateral problems will persist, but at least Tokyo and Beijing are learning to deal with them constructively, and learning that even if there are policy disagreements, cooperation, communication, and exchange is necessary.