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China and Japan

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Submitted By matthews01
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China and Japan are geographically separated by the East China Sea, while the two countries are so close together, they are far apart when it comes to culture, values, and the economy. China and Japan have been at odds with each other since The Raping of Nanjing in 1937. “In December of 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army marched into China's capital city of Nanking and proceeded to murder 300,000 out of 600,000 civilians and soldiers in the city. The six weeks of carnage would become known as the Rape of Nanking and represented the single worst atrocity during the World War II era in either the European or Pacific theaters of war” ( The people of China felt like it was the war against Japanese aggression and not World War II. China felt like it was a personal attack because the Japanese were so cruel and evil. Till this day China feels like Japan has downplayed the senseless murders and rapes by calling them an “incident.” Thus, here it is over seventy years later and China and Japan have totally different stories of the event that took place. I will discuss how Japan’s lack of empathy towards China has fostered deep wounds for both countries.
What are the primary issues that separate China and Japan? The main issues that separate China and Japan primarily “concern the way the two governments, particularly the Japanese government, look at and handle Japan's aggression against China and its other Asian neighbors, and other related issues from the War, such as the chemical weapons abandoned by Japanese troops in China. The Sino-Japan Joint Statement on Building a Friendly and Cooperative Partnership Dedicated to Peace and Development concluded in 1998 points out that "squarely facing the past and correctly perceiving history constitutes the important foundation for developing Sino-Japan relationship." Facts have proven that Japan's failure to come to a correct understanding of the historical issues and to take concrete actions may turn those issues into a real problem hampering the sound development of Sino-Japanese relations” (Liu,J). These issues continue to separate China and Japan because they have not found a resolve that works for everyone. China and Japan will continue to have issues with one another if they continue to talk around the subject and not about it; Japan has to understand that what they did to China should never be considered as an “incident” it was wrong. China has to understand that Japan may never fully understand their actions and how they affected China. So, China may never get the sincere apologize they want and deserve.
How has the Chinese government worked to facilitate the separation of China and Japan? The Chinese government has worked hard to facilitate the separation of China and Japan by making sure that security is maintained and everyone feels safe by increasing military expenses. China and Japan need each other and they have the potential to make a lot of money together if they continue to promote harmony and coexistence. Countries have to be able to respect each other’s thoughts and feelings, they may not like them but they have to respect them. They also have learned to be more tolerate of each other as well as strengthen their communication. “Loving peace, honoring promises and living in harmony with all others far and near is an important part of China's cultural heritage. In its foreign relations, the Chinese nation has advocated cordiality, benevolence, good-neighborliness and universal harmony. Believing in harmony without uniformity, China's diplomacy has drawn from its 5000-year-old culture inexhaustible wisdom” ( Peace is a part of China’s culture, so while they may not agree with Japan’s tactics, they have made sure that Japan knows they do not have any animosity towards them and will continue to work with them even if they do not always agree on how things should be done.
How does the saying “the winners get to write history” apply to this case? “The winners get to write history” apply to this case because Japan invaded China and Japan totally downplays what happened during that time in history. “The issue that is perhaps the most contentious between Japan and China is Japanese history text books largely having this tragedy swept under the carpet; vastly toned down without admission of guilt or completely ignored altogether. The Japanese impasse with the rest of her Asian neighbors is similarly over prevailing Japanese unrepentant attitudes towards her colonial past” (Yang, Y). Basically, since the Japanese came into China like savages and murdered thousands of people, raped women, and brutally beat the Chinese they were able to say they won. Fast forward to present day and now history books do not go into any detail about what really happened when Japan invaded China, they refer to the murders, rapes, and beatings as an “incident.” It is called propaganda and it attempts to cover up the indiscretions of the Japanese at that particular time in history. Japan attacked the US and lost. Thus the US was considered the winner and was able to write history. The Americans were portrayed as heroes. However, how can someone be considered a hero when they have killed innocent women and children? Japan likes to downplay their invasion of China just like the US has downplayed the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
How might these issues hinder business between Japanese and Chinese firms?
These issues hinder business between Japanese and Chinese firms because it is hard to compromise with someone you do not trust and neither Japan or China trust each other enough to have a good business relationship. “While the past, current, and any sustainable future economic and trade relationship between Japan and China will be based upon mutual benefit, the fundamental truth is that Japan must value the relationship more highly than China because Japan really has no good alternatives. Not so China, which can get much or all of what it wants from Japan from many willing European and North American suppliers. Put another way, the costs (including opportunity costs) of estrangement for China will be relatively small, easily bearable, and likely to decline over time. For Japan they will be huge, painfully onerous, and likely to rise over time” (Harner, S.) China and Japan need each other and have the potential to make a lot of money if they unite and put their differences aside which probably will not happen anytime soon. At this time it seems Japan can benefit more from China than China can benefit from them. While it may be hard for Japan to come to terms with their need for China, this may be China’s chance to shine and be the bigger person and really show Japan how business should be done correctly.
How could Chinese and Japanese firms work to overcome these issues? Chinese and Japanese firms can work to overcome these issues by having a serious conversation with the leaders of China and Japan and figure out how they can work together so that both countries will be able to benefit from their union. “Boosting Japanese purchases of Chinese-made products is on the agenda for both countries. Trade ministers from China, Japan, and South Korea will meet on May 12 to discuss a possible free-trade agreement. In December, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao hosted Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Beijing, with the two leaders agreeing to promote trade by encouraging the use of their currencies for cross-border transactions rather than the U.S. dollar. Deepening ties between China and Japan “is necessary and possible,” Wen said at a meeting with Noda at the Great Hall of the People, the official Xinhua news agency reported” (Einhorn, B.). It seems like there has been some progression between China and Japan and the leaders understand that their need for each other is “necessary and possible” in order for them to grow as well as profit from one another. While the past still lingers between the two it is still possible for them to work together for a bigger cause and while they should not forget they can most certainly forgive past transgressions.
It is fairly certain that China and Japan will ever be friends because there is so much pain, hurt, and distrust between them. However, you do not have to be friends or even like someone to have a business relationship. While it may be trying at first it can happen if everyone agrees to disagree, listen, and not take offense to others thoughts and opinions. While this situation is not ideal this is how it works for China and Japan. They both understand the importance of needing one another and they must continually work on their relationship in order for either country to flourish. It is hard to let go of the past because it is a part of who we all are but at some point we have to realize that it happened and move on. You should never forget but you should forgive because forgiveness it never about the other person, it is about you. China has come to terms with the past and has moved on the best way they know how; they have continued to flourish even without the sincere apology they feel they have not gotten from Japan. However, until that time comes and if that time comes they continue to work with Japan with pride and dignity.

N.A. (n.d.). Peace, Development, and Cooperation—Banner for China’s Diplomacy in the New
Era. In Permanent mission of the people’s republic of china to the United Nations office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland. Retrieved on June 26, 2014, from
Yang, Y. (December 13, 2011). The 74th Anniversary of Nanjing Massacre. In Hidden
Harmonies China Blog. Retrieved on June 26, 2014, from
N.A. (n.d.) The Rape of Nanking 1937-1938 300,000 Deaths. In The History Place. Retrieved on June 225, 2014, from
Liu, J. (November 3, 2005). On Correct Understanding of the Historical Issues Between China and Japan. In Permanent mission of the people’s republic of china to the UN. Retrieved on June 26, 2014, from
Harner, S. (September 11, 2012). Japan Needs China More: This is the Real Danger in the
Territorial Dispute. In Forbes. Retrieved on June 25, 2014, from
Einhorn, B. (May 10, 2012). China Eyes Japan as the Land of Opportunity. In Bloomberg
BusinessWeek. Retrieved on June 26, 2014, from

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