Overcoming the boundaries separating China and Japan
In this written piece, the differences between the nations of China and Japan are explored. We examine issues of separation, the economic environment between the two countries, and the possibility of overcoming cultural differences in the hope of mutual economic interest. Literary pieces analyzed include Wang (2004) China’s Changing Role in Asia, Honghua (2010) East Asian Order Formation and Sino-Japanese Relations, and Smith (2009) China-Japan Relations and the Future Geopolitics of East Asia. Both China and Japan are currently dynamic players in the political and economic environment in modern East Asia.
Differences between Behemoths
Overcoming the boundaries separating China and Japan China and Japan have a long history together with various interactions both positive and negative. The relationship contains remarkable contradiction giving glimpses of distrust mixed with mirrored economic interest, Smith (2009). According to Honghua (2010), one of China’s largest trading partners as of 2005 was Japan itself; thus despite differences, we see shared economic interest. The primary issues separating China and Japan appear to be historical perspective, territorial disputes, and China’s perception on the US – Japanese relationship. Among certain Chinese, there exists the perception that Japan’s remorse regarding WWII, and with respect to earlier conflicts is somewhat lacking (Smith 2009). WWII was a significantly violent period for both countries, and memories from both factions are most likely a source of great pain. This perception of Japan’s unapologetic attitude toward WWII atrocities is also one of angst for many Chinese. Marked territorial disputes seem to add tension to the atmospheric condition between the two nations. A grouping of islands known as Diaoyutai (Chinese) and Senkaku (Japanese) has been the subject of a territorial dispute between the two nations since China claimed sovereignty over them in 1992 (Smith 2009). Since 1992, the two countries have repeatedly sent research and surveillance vessels to the area as if the territorial claim could be substantiated through presence alone. Japan and China have historically disagreed over the territory of Taiwan as well; both countries perceive greater claim over the other, Wang (2004). Above all the issues, there remains that of the US-Japan security alliance. Beginning in 1960, and continuing to the present day, Japan has shared an alliance with the US; Japan’s friendship with the United States appears to be a source of Chinese concern (Smith 2009). The Chinese government has sought to facilitate distance from Japan by repeatedly blocking their desire to sit on the UN Security Council back in April 2005, Beehner, L. & Bhattacharji, P. (2008). The political ideologies of both countries are different in that China is a communist nation, and Japan has a parliamentary system of government. Both countries maintain a strong sense of national pride, collective unity, and a competitive desire to succeed. Despite political differences, the economic relationship between China and Japan is one of recent benefit. According to Honghua (2010), since 2006 both governments have reached economic interdependence on energy, environmental protection, agriculture, medicine, and information technology. The relationship between both countries is complex mixed with security mistrust and economic interdependence, Honghua (2010). Economic factors are a powerful driver for