A New Perspective to Understand Modern Japan from External Relationship

Title: 1340 | A New Perspective to Understand Modern Japan from External Relationship
Area: Border Crossing and Inter-Area
Stream: International Relations
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Kelin Chen, Northeast Normal University, China (organizer, presenter, discussant, chair)
Chung-Yen Chi, The University of Tokyo, Japan (presenter, discussant)
Jing Xie, Waseda University, Japan (presenter, discussant)


The panel's members are interested in understanding Japan in certain periods through different perspectives. This idea is to pursue some synchronic ideas based on diachronic snapshots of modern Japan's historical images and its external relationship. Chen's thesis aims to reexamine Nikka-gakkai's role in the Sino-Japan relationship. While, Chi focuses on the status of Taiwan as Japan’s first colony under Japanese Kokutai theory in Meiji period. Xie focuses on Sino-Japanese relations and strives to understand Japan’s responses to China’s signaling of domestic constraints in anti-Japanese protests and its pattern. Presenters in this panel use historical methods and international relations approaches to conduct their projects, they are looking at Japan and its external relationship from different perspectives and using different materials in a wide range of time. For instance, Chen examines the intellectual history of Nikka-gakkai from1918 to 1945, situating on Hattori Unokichi, Matsumoto Kamejiro, and Takahashi Kunpei's collected works within a historical context and employing current scholarship of modern Japanese history. Chi studies on the status of colony in the Kokutai theory in the field of intellectual history in Japanese empire through using the discourse of intellectuals including Fukuzawa Yukichi and Kato Hiroyuki in Meiji period. Xie, falling in the field of diplomacy, uses cases of anti-Japanese protests in China since the normalization of China and the reactions from Japan in these cases to explore the credibility of China’s signaling behaviors in Japan’s eyes and factors influence Japan’s responses.

Panel Abstracts:
The View of "Japan China Friendship" in the Field of Education for Chinese Students in Japan: Taking the Nikka-gakkai as the Main Reference (1918-1945)
Based on the Japanese archives and documents, from the historical perspective, this study takes the Nikka-gakkai as research opportunity, the most important management organization of Chinese students studying in Japan from 1918 to 1945. In order to compete with the Western for the educational rights of Chinese youth, improve the situation of Chinese "staying in Japan against Japan", and cultivate "Pro Japanese elements", the Nikka-gakkai was established with the support of Japanese government. The association carried out very active activities to practice the “Japan China Friendship” on the surface. Due to its close cooperation with Japan's militaristic state policy, the critical voice always exists. This paper does not focus on the evaluation, but the ideological context behind the activities of the Nikka-gakkai. Specifically to clarify the development track and connotation of "Japan China friendship", also analyze the thoughts of Hattori Unokichi, Matsumoto Kamejiro, Takahashi Kunpei ,who have Chinese classical Sinology literacy and many years of Chinese life experience, and have played important roles in the Nikka-gakkai, to clarify the characteristics of the practice of "Japan China friendship" in the education field, which is different from the previous discussions on the political, diplomatic and economic levels, explain the characteristics of the thoughts of the Japanese educators who do not follow the Japanese national policy and the Nikka-gakkai, always adhere to friendship with China, and expect to provide certain for the healthy development of China Japan relations at present and in the future Inspiration.

The Intellectual Understanding of the Kokutai Theory and Colony in Meiji Japan (1868-1912): Civilization, Nation, and Sovereignty Issues as the Main Reference
Ever since the mid-nineteenth century, under the great Western impact at technical, institutional and even behavioural levels, East Asian Countries have experienced a long journey to understand the Western civilization as well as to rethink and relocate themselves. In Japan, the Meiji era was a very critical period of such process. At that time, the concept of sovereignty was introduced and repeatedly interacted with the indigenous history and culture in Japan. Especially after the occupation of Taiwan, how to incorporate the theories concerning colonies into the general discourse of the Kokutai theory has become the most fundamental question for Japan. This paper will trace the rich debates on the Kokutai theory and colonies among Japanese intellectuals such as Fukuzawa Yukichi, Kato Hiroyuki during the Meiji period. Focusing on their discussions of civilization, nation, and sovereignty issues, this study especially attempts to explore how these Meiji intellectuals managed to establish the particularity of Japan while using Western universality in the discourse of the Kokutai theory. The methodologies in this paper are based on textual history. to analyze the status of Taiwan as a colony under the Kokutai theory.

The Credibility of Authoritarian Signaling of Domestic Constraints in Others' Eyes: Evidence from Sino-Japanese Interactions Since 1972
In international bargaining, domestic constraints may provide a negotiator with a bargaining advantage. Democratic leaders can claim that their hands are tied by their congress, parliament, or even public opinion to obtain this advantage. However, for their authoritarian counterparts, despite that usually they don’t need to gain domestic “ratification” when making the decisions, they also signal domestic constraint by emphasizing domestic "public opinion," especially when expressed by anti-foreign protests. Rather than how sincere their domestic constraint really is, what is more important to bargaining outcome is the credibility of their domestic constraint in the foreign state's eyes. This research attempts to take China as an important example to analyze the credibility of their domestic constraint in Japan's eyes in their interactions since their normalization. Rather than focusing on the motivation from China’s side, this research pays more attention to Japan’s response to China’s signaling. Although the general reciprocation rate of China’s signaling is not lower than democratic states, by analyzing cases of anti-Japanese protest in China, this research argues that the effect of authoritarian signaling depends on the level of strategy interest of the issue under bargaining. When the issue under bargaining has higher interest level than economic cooperation, the signaling behaviors seems to be more unlikely to be responded. When the issue has lower interest level, the reciprocation rate is higher

This panel is on Thursday - Session 04 - Room 2

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