Rise of an anti-China identity : explaining Japan's hardened foreign and security policy approach towards China
Lim, Jason Chee Keong
Date of Issue2017
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Managing the rise of China is perhaps the greatest challenge for Japan's foreign policy since the post-Cold War. How Japan responds to China's rise is one of the most closely studied topic in international relations, given the historical rivalry, unresolved memory issues of war and atrocities during the occupation by Japanese forces, recent territorial disputes and the rise of nationalism in both countries which underlie their complex relationship. This paper is focused on the Japanese's threat perception of China's rise and assertiveness since the 2010 Fishing Trawler incident that is undermining Japanese nationalistic pride and security interests. It will argue that as a result of China's rise and aggressive behavior towards Japan, a Japanese 'anti-China' identity rises to dominance as Japan seeks to overcome its vulnerabilities vis-a-vis China. This identity has shaped Japanese policies in its military-security developments, U.S.-Japan alliance and in its proactive approach towards the South China Sea disputes between China and Southeast Asian states.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science