SHANGHAI - "Stand By Me Doraemon," a 2014 Japanese animation movie, was released in various cities in China on Thursday.
It is the first time in three years that a new Japanese movie has been shown in China's regular movie theatres since an "Ultraman" movie was released in July 2012, according to the Japanese Embassy.
It was also the first film to be released in China after the deterioration of Japan-China relations following the Japanese government's nationalisation of some of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture in September 2012.
The Chinese government has set a limit on the number of foreign movies that can be shown in a year. Permission to screen the Doraemon movie, granted against the backdrop of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping having held summit talks twice since last November, is seen as a sign of improving the bilateral relations.
"Doraemon" is also highly popular in China.
"I took two hours off from work, as today was the first day of the screening," said a female office worker, 28, who visited a movie theatre in Shanghai to watch it. "I was so thrilled to see the movie because I've loved [Doraemon] since I was a kid."