Short Paper on China and Japan

After reviewing Hofstede’s measures, it helped me understand more that just because two countries may have similar cultural similarities, their relationships with each other may not be on the best terms. The primary issues that separate China and Japan go way back in history. I know Japan has always felt that they are superior to China. According to ibiblio.org, “the series of wars and conflicts between China and Japan are known as the Sino-Japanese Wars.

These wars weakened China, while helping Japan gain more power; that is, until the final war, in which China finally gained allies, most notably the United States and Great Britain. The Second Sino-Japanese War is also considered a part of World War Two. (ibiblio.org, 2012) This began a long and drawn out conflict between these two Asian nations, causing a lot of distrust and animosity. I believe a big part of the tension between these two nations come from the Japanese Occupation of China, but also as a result of the recent dispute over the Diaoyu-Senkaku Islands.

According to the New York Times, “in recent years, China has become embroiled in a series of disputes over rights to islands and seabeds in the South China and East China seas. The areas are rich in oil, gas, fishing and mineral resources. But the conflicts are also driven by hard feelings over the past, particularly Japan’s decades of imperial conquest, and by fears over the future, as the region adjusts to China’s rise to superpower status. (N.Y. Times, 2012) The N.Y Times article goes on the state that, “In the summer and fall of 2012, tensions ran highest between China and Japan over a group of uninhabited islands in the East Asian Sea that both countries claim. The islands are known as the Diaoyu in China and the Senkaku in Japan. (N.Y. Times, 2012) According to World Politics Review,

“Japan’s complex relationship with China, burdened by history and intermittent geopolitical disputes, has been further complicated by the fact that China’s meteoric rise has coincided with a decade of Japanese economic stagnation. More generally, Japan has perhaps been the nation most wary of China’s growing economic and military power. Japanese and U.S. officials have adopted hedging policies in the event that China’s rising economic, political and military power becomes a security threat.” (World Politics Review, 2012) According to World Politics Review, “Chinese leaders have become similarly wary of Japan’s growing military capabilities, in addition to the expanding security role in East Asia and efforts to revise the pacifist clauses in the Japanese constitution”. (World Politics Review, 2012)

According to the Frontline/World, “the tension between China and Japan is the new economic reality in the region. After decades of economic dominance in Asia, Japan's might has been subdued by a prolonged recession, while an annual growth rate of eight to 10 percent has transformed China into a global economic superpower. In 2004, a fifth of Japan's total trade was with China, its rival. That same year, China eclipsed the United States as Japan's largest trading partner. Japan is also an important trading partner for China, ranking third behind the European Union and the United States. Japan is also a major source of direct foreign investment, bringing more than $5 billion to China in 2003.The history of World War II caused China and Japan to remain bitterly divided. In order for the two countries to grow and move forward, they need to let go of the past and heal their wounds.

The Chinese government worked to facilitate the separation of China and Japan by unveiling a new museum to help heal the wounds and hope to bridge the separation of China and Japan. The saying “the winners get to write history” apply to this case because it seems as if China is rewriting the history books on this one. China has the booming economy and Japan has used that to help booster its own fledging economy. These issues could hinder business between Japanese and Chinese firms doing business in America, India, Europe and other countries.

Exploring Chinese History, Politics: Conflict and War: Japan (2012), Found at http://www.ibiblio.org/chinesehistory/contents/03pol/c04s02.html. Accessed September 30, 2012.

Cultural Savvy. Found at http://www.culturalsavvy.com/tips.htm. Accessed September 30, 2012.

National Cultural Dimensions. Found at http://geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html. Accessed September 30, 2012.

Emily Taguchi and Lee Wang (2006) Japan and China: The Unforgotten War: Views from both sides of East Asia's historical conflict. Found at http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2006/04/japan_and_china.html. Accessed September 30, 2012.

Capital FM News: Future for Japan-China relations rooted in history Posted by XINHUA on September 17, 2012 http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/09/future-for-japan-china-relations-rooted-in-history/ Accessed September 30, 2012.