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The Chinese Japanese relationship: Room for improvement in a troublesome relationship

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Political incentives for cooperation.
    1. A common cultural heritage.
    2. A significant economic comparative advantage for and between the two countries.
    3. Perspective.
  3. Politics incentive for confrontation.
    1. The maritime border issue.
    2. Domestic politics and the pragmatic formation of each other's image.
  4. China and Japan: An antagonist relationship exploited by the West.
    1. The West: An ally for one, an enemy for the other.
    2. The rise of China, and Japan's new role.
    3. Overcoming the American predominance in the Chinese Japanese relationship.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

I understand that the issue of the Chinese Japanese relationship may prove to be quite a sensitive issue in both countries, and I hope I will not offend anyone in any way, with this presentation. I tried to present the facts and analysis as objectively as possible to highlight the problems and the dynamics of the relationship, and thus finally to propose solutions for betterment. I mainly base this paper on my experiences last year while studying in Japan, and during my research over there, as well as long email exchanges I had with a Chinese friend who was studying with me in Japan, last year: Ji yongsly who is from Beijing, studies Japanese culture, and whom I am thanking, for having provided me with some insights from the Chinese point of view, regarding the Chinese Japanese relationship. Inheritance from World War II and a long history of rivalries, the relationship between the two big powerful nations of North-East Asia, China and Japan, has never seemed to have recovered from the past and its conflicting characteristic.

[...] The Chinese are pleased to welcome the Japanese firms installing in China as a boost for their industry, while the Japanese get to find free physical space which they could not do in Japan. China gets to export their low price quality products as well as natural resources, in particular meat to Japan in need of those, while in return, the Japanese get to export high quality products and infrastructures to a China still lacking in this area in their home market. [...]

[...] Both may share overall the belief of a Japan, by nature different socially from the rest of the world, but both trends well fractured and visible in the Japanese society For instance, Japanese flags in front of houses opposed to the sign, symbol of peace often shown by Japanese while having their photo taken) differ greatly on how to deal with it. The Pacifists would be inclined to stay away from world affairs as it is by essence a world of anarchy. [...]

[...] China, being historically the easier target, in triggering the Chinese nationalism through the issue of History textbooks or war criminals cemeteries would serve their cause, as in return, the image of anti Japanese protests could have had a profound impact in minds. Taking a more aggressive approach towards the outside world necessarily then also demands a Japan proud of itself, and why Nationalists have often tried to get the population take the guilt off themselves regarding the issues of the past. [...]

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