MAKING NICE

The China-Japan trade war is pretty much over—for now

Waiting to be exported, at the port of Yokohama.
Waiting to be exported, at the port of Yokohama.
Image: AP Photo/Koji Sasahara
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There’s still plenty of a fair bit of chest-thumping going on between Japan and China over territorial claims in the East China Sea.

But even so, Japan’s exports to China have rebounded sharply in recent months after a deep slump in 2012. That slump came around the same time that a decades-long dispute over a small chain of islands took a turn for the worse.

For their part, giant Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda have reported that 2013 was a record year for sales to China. That was a strong rebound from depressed levels in 2012 when violent protest in China—driven by the diplomatic tensions—sharply curtailed sales of Japanese cars. Here’s a look at Japanese exports to China, through November.

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Again, this doesn’t mean that relations between China and Japan are all buttercups and skittles. But the lack of mass, nationalistic protests in China suggests the powers-that-be have decided there’s no need for that to hurt an important business relationship.