Understanding the Sino-Japanese Bilateral Relationship
Natzke, Aleksandra Aragon
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This thesis portfolio assesses the Sino-Japanese bilateral relationship using three sources of contention. The main question is, “What are the main sources of conflict in the Sino-Japanese bilateral relationship?” Each paper in the portfolio contributes to answering this overall question. The first paper discusses how nationalism has risen in Japan and China and its implications for the relationship. The second paper is a case study on the territorial disputes between China and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and how this contributes to the conflict between the two countries. The third chapter discusses the United States alliance with Japan, studying the language of the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation between the United States and Japan and the role of the United States in the Sino-Japanese bilateral relationship. This portfolio uses a historical-interpretative approach to conducting research and analysis. The most knowledgeable scholars in the field of Asian affairs from China, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia have discussed the complex relationship and the reoccurring conflict between the two governments. The works of well-known Sino and Japanese scholars and defense strategists are analyzed and examined for common themes. For historical reference and theoretical analysis, the writings of Henry Kissinger, Paul Kennedy, and John Mearshimer are used. The ideas of Asia experts such as Robert Kaplan, Richard Bush, Christopher Hughes, Peter Gries and Lucian W. Pye, Bill Emmott, Vice-Admiral (Ret.) Fumio Ota, Dr. Paul Smith, Thomas Christensen, and Zhongqi Pan are analyzed. Chapter One finds that ethnic nationalism is growing in both China and Japan, posing as a major contributor to the tension in the Sino-Japanese relationship. Chapter Two concludes that the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island is an important part of Japan and China’s identity. Despite the liberal idea that war will be prevented by strong trade ties in a crisis situation, particularly over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, both populations will be indifferent to maintaining trade ties. Chapter Three has found that the language in the Mutual Defense Treaty Between Japan and the United States of 1960 lacks clarity regarding the ownership of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.