Non-state perspectives on Sino-Japanese relations : insights from Chinese students' experiences in Japan
He, Christabelle Shimin
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Could Asia really go to war over the Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands? According to The Economist, the answers were yes, no, and maybe. In the last quarter of 2012, local and international news media provided us with almost daily updates on clashes between Asia's two biggest economies- China and Japan- over the Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands in the East China Sea, creating a negative image of Sino-Japanese ties. The answer to the question above could have been yes. But the more pertinent question should be: in the midst of Sino-Japanese political tensions, how does life go on for the average citizen? Few reports gave us a clue on what Sino-Japanese ties were like at the ground level during this period. Yes, journalists wrote about how members of the public in China attacked Japanese businessmen. But what about Chinese persons living in Japan- how were they being treated? As a Singaporean exchange student about to set foot on Japan's grounds in September 2012, I wanted to know. As a result, I sought to understand Sino-Japanese interactions through the eyes of Chinese students studying in Japan. I did this by interviewing, mingling with, and observing Chinese students in Japan. The results of this ethnographic study suggests that the Sino-Japanese situation appears less dire at the non-state level.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science::International relations