Japan and China, the Unforgetten War

China and Japan are two different countries with two different cultures. Both of their values are different and both of their economies are different. A lot of times, being in the United States, we really don’t understand the differences between two countries that seem so similar to us. Yet, in reality, they are so different that sometimes we need a better understanding of what really goes on behind the scenes of both countries.

China and Japan face many primary issues. Many years ago China and Japan become rivals. In the late 1800’s Japan and China went into a major war, calling this the Nanjing Massacre. In 1937 Japanese soldiers came into China and murdered, raped, and looted many of China’s people. One of their main issues is the economy. Before the 1980’s Japan was the giant of Asia, since than China has overpowered Japan, including taking over the United States as a major trading partner. Another issue is the oil pipeline off in the large oil fields in eastern Siberia. This issue took place in 2004 where Japan was bidding for their side to control the oil field and China was bidding for their side. Eventually Japan won.

The Chinese government has worked hard to facilitate the separation of China and Japan. In recent years, the Chinese and Japanese people have protested against each other, leaving the government to control what is going on. The Chinese government has been able to control any rioting and made sure that if any erupts, they have it under control. Basically, the Chinese government is making sure that the Japanese know they don’t have any hard feelings from the past issues, which happened over 60 years ago. More recently, China and Japan have been battling over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which falls on the international border, which is creating another battle for both countries. The Chinese government has also increase military expenses.

“The winners get to write history” applies to this case because even though the Nanjing Massacre happened over 60 years ago, the Chinese will still protest against Japan. Both countries will always remember what Japan did to China. We often remember things based on who triumphed than those who lost. Therefore we know that Japan was dominate over China for a long time so when looking back at history we see that Japan was always the one who was one up ahead of China. This left China with the image of being controlled, but looking further into history the tables have turned and China made a rebound.

The issues between China and Japan might hinder business between Japanese and Chinese firms because one might not trust the other in the proper way. For instance, till this day there are obviously a lot of people in China who are still against Japan for the past issues they have had. Those people might be anti-Japan in anyway possible and discourage business with the other. This is also true when it comes to purchasing, Chinese people may not purchase anything that has to do with Japan leaving them limited opportunities to buy products or services. In 2004, a fifth of Japan’s total trade was with China. But soon after China decided to increase its trade with the United States, making a bigger investment with them. The Chinese and Japanese lack trust within each other and that’s going to be their biggest economical problem. Over the recent years, there have been mass demonstrations and boycotts of Japanese products from the Chinese leaving exports to only decline and take a toll on the trading business for both countries.

Chinese and Japanese firms can certainly work to overcome these issues. This is an issue that has to be set forward between both governments. Both the Chinese and the Japanese need to have a trust issue and a steady balance for each to work with each other in an effective business manor. Both countries need to understand that the past is the past. The Chinese must understand that those people who existed 60 years ago are not the same people living these days. Although there might be some people who still believe in what the Japanese has done to the Chinese, there still needs to be a level of trust for business purposes.

There are surely some people in both countries that both need something that the other country needs. In 1972, both countries did achieve a postwar reconciliation, but even after 4 decades the ties have not been completely normal. The problem here is that there are a large number of Chinese citizens who still see Japan as a militaristic country who is aggressive and out to get them. At the end of the day, this is a political issue in which both countries simply need to gather a level of trust in order to do business with each other.

Both the Chinese and the Japanese need to understand that the past is something that will affect the future, but in order to gain business from each other they must come to a point where they have a stronger economic bond or they will never be able to maintain a stable relationship with each other. In reality, there will always be some sort of rivalry with both China and Japan, but as times grow eventually one of them will realize it’s just not worth it anymore.

References Japan and China: The Unforgotten War http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2006/04/japan_and_china.html http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2006/04/japan_and_chinalinks.html China and Japan Rival Giants http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/asia_pac/05/china_japan/html/history.stm Private Sector Urged to do More to Help Rebuild Japan-China Relations http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/03/26/business/private-sector-urged-to-do-more-to-help-rebuild-japan-china-relations/#.Uc5p2xzQddw