China-Japan relations: Political culture as an analytical framework

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This paper aims to explain how distinct political cultures have complicated China-Japan relations. Firstly, it illustrates the Chinese and Japanese political cultures on the basis of a sociological literature and first-hand observation of the author. Then, it analyses a case and an issue, that is, their negotiation for the 1972 Joint Communique and the struggle over the maritime disputes in the South China Sea in 2010. This analysis situates empirical events against the backdrop of each of the people’s behavior rationale, thereby surfacing a deep political cultural variable. China’s legal pragmatism and Japan’s communal sensitivity are specifically relevant in these controversies. Together, they represent an epistemological difference, rendering meaningful communication difficult between the two people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-154
Number of pages26
JournalHong Kong journal of Social Sciences
Issue number52
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • China-Japan relations
  • Normalization of China-Japan relations
  • Political culture
  • South China sea disputes

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