On the face of it, the idea of hostility between the two East Asian neighbors is sharply at odds with excellent trade numbers and Japan's unrelenting efforts to keep open the bilateral flows of commerce and finance.
Here is the latest: The Japanese sold to China 35.2 percent of all the goods they dumped on the rest of Asia in the first seven months of this year. And that was a 10.6 percent increase from the year earlier.
For all of 2017, the Japanese export business to China literally flourished, soaring 20.5 percent after a 6.5 percent decline in 2016.
The China business remains the key lifeline to the Japanese economy, where net exports contributed exactly one-third of Japan's economic growth since the beginning of 2017.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was profoundly convinced of that simple truth all along. Here is what he said in his first press conference following his party's landslide victory in December 2012: "China is an indispensable country for the Japanese economy to keep growing. We need to use some wisdom so that political problems will not develop and affect economic issues."