Now that Xi and Abe have had their icy handshake, China and Japan need to move forward. Hotlines are necessary, but so is continued leadership: for President Xi, to ensure that anti-Japanese nationalism does not dictate policy towards Tokyo; for Prime Minister Abe, to tamp down tendencies towards historical revisionism.
We have not yet seen any renewed attempt to re-establish the "Quadrilateral Security Dialogue," comprising Japan, Australia, the U.S., and India, which conducted joint military exercises in 2007 and was seen by China as a hostile containment enterprise. But it is not hard to imagine that this is still very much on Abe's wish list. The dangers should not be exaggerated. But, with strategic competition between the U.S. and China as delicately poised as it is, and with the economic interests of Australia, Japan, and many others in the region bound up just as intensely with China as their security interests are with the U.S., rocking the boat carries serious risks.