Apparently aware of China's concerns about Japan's militaristic past, Tokyo has shelved plans for its Air Self-Defense Force to airlift the tents and other supplies.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told reporters Friday Japan plans to charter a commercial plane for the mission, Kyodo news service reported.
The report said key Japanese officials had hinted about lingering memories of Japan's wartime invasion among some Chinese.
Some Chinese reportedly have posted their feelings about Japan on Web sites, the report said.
"It isn't something that should be implemented knowing that it may cause friction," Machimura was quoted as saying, but denied the issue would have a negative effect on Sino-Japan relations.
But an ASDF official noted the United States and Russia have used military planes to transport their supplies, Kyodo reported.
"The world may take it to mean that only Japan was rejected by China because it is still dragging in the shadow of the war," the official said.