Crossroads in Sino-Japanese Relations: Exploring the Impact of Anti-Japanese Sentiment on Japanese Firms' Business Relations in China
Wang, Jane W.
- Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Abstract: Do unresolved historical tensions negatively affect current business relations between countries? This paper explores the question of whether popular anti-Japanese sentiment in China impacts Japanese firms' business relations in China. Drawing on relevant history, ... read morecurrent trends, and key conceptual frameworks, the paper seeks to interpret the discrepant evidence from cases, media accounts, research studies, quantitative data and interviews with practitioners, which present contradictory portraits of the impact from anti-Japanese sentiment on Japanese firms in China. Upon analysis, it is found that national identity its salience, associated social norms, and encouragement of activism is the determining factor in driving the public expression of anti-Japanese sentiment in action in the business realm. In private transactions, however, where the benefit and cost to the immediate actors involved are of primary consideration, Chinese business behavior tends to be driven more by rational choice than by national identity. Thus, the impact of anti-Japanese sentiment on business relations represents the sensational exceptions rather than the general rule. Nevertheless, anti-Japanese sentiment carries real risks for Japanese firms in China, which may heighten if anti-Japanese national identity salience is sustained at the current high level. At a crossroads in Sino-Japanese relations, the quantifiable impact of historical grievances through the negative effects of anti-Japanese sentiment on current business relations may as yet prompt a final reckoning of the past between the two great powers of Asia.read less