The Relationship Between Japan and China

One of the most crucial geopolitical developments that are happening today is the growing influence of China globally. The diplomatic, military and economic borders of China have grown both regionally and internationally. However, China shares a peculiar type of relationship with Japan.  The typical financial goals have united them economically while politically they seem to be in constant fights. The origin of these fights is the Japanese war and Maritime disputes in the East China Sea. This sea separates these two countries. Therefore, they both have influenced one another in one way or another. For instance, the religion, philosophy, architecture, language, and culture of Japan have strongly been influenced by China.

The relationship between these two nations has been strained due to Japan refusing to acknowledge China. This opinion is based on the Chinese Government. On the other hand, the Japanese government argues that the bilateral relations are being damaged by the assertive activities of People’s Liberation Army. These relations had been going well until 2010 when the Japanese government started accusing China of withholding some of its reserves that contain rare but valuable elements. Therefore, the future of the relationship between these two nations is still unknown. Their relationship could become stronger due to the reliable bilateral trades or could collapse due to political acrimony between them.

However, they are working towards improving their relations with both countries agreeing to focus on creating positive health relations. This relationship may be a threat to Japan. This paper will discuss why the connections could be a threat and the policies that Japan can implement towards China.


 How the relations between Japan and China are a threat to Japan.

 Geopolitically, the Japan nation views China as a threat to its economic growth. It is mainly contributed by the rate at which China is gaining military powers. Despite the strong trade relations they have, the Japanese believe that Japan will not spare them. Furthermore, Japan had a previous plan to keep on dividing China. They even planned to prevent the whole population of China from accessing the Chinese Northern Plains. However, all this changed in 1997 when the Japanese business dealings in Southern Asia failed (Backer, 23). Since then China has taken over the automobile market. Therefore, the Japanese think that China could manipulate their relations and seek revenge for this past doings.

            The relations could also be a threat because China has already established itself in military and economics. China is a reliable market and opportunity for many countries. Therefore, China can decide to use these two factors as weapons against the Japanese. They can have bad negotiations and business agreements that may make Japan a hostage (Backer, 37). Additionally, if every trade agreement they make has other motives, then the relation will automatically become a threat. If the Chinese decide to use their market to discriminate against the Japanese, then the Japanese should feel threatened. Generally, we can say that it is risky for Japan to concentrate all its business dealings in China. Therefore, they should come up with policies that will help them to deal with China in a way that is beneficial to both of them.

 Policies Japan Should Implement Towards China

The Trade Policy is one policy that Japan can implement towards China. This policy gives a reliable way in which Japan can handle the import and export of its goods. In the Japanese government, the promotion of export commodities has been a big problem. The government did not recognize that to grow and develop its imports, it needed to generate a lot of exports. Therefore, they can decide to promote their exports by creating effective industries that can substitute for imports. It will help Japan to compete internationally (Backer, 78). The other thing they can do to promote their exports is to offer incentives to firms that are exporting goods from the country.  The increased amount of exports especially the manufactured products will expand the international trade for Japan, hence increased economic growth. This policy will reduce the over-reliance that Japan has on China. Its exports and business dealings will be diversified (Backer, 108). Therefore, even if China decides to use its market as a weapon against Japan, the effects will be manageable.  These export and import policies will help Japan to eliminate barriers on direct investment and trade. However, as it is advancing economically, Japan should be aware that China is essential and has played a significant part in its growth.

The other policy that Japan can enact is the defense or security policy. This policy is very crucial during such times when significant changes are happening in the world power balance. The missile and nuclear developments in North Korea are threatening the security of the Japanese (Storey, 123). There is an increase in the rate at which cyber and international attacks are happening.  The increased Sino-Japanese tension is another reason why this policy should be implemented. As a way of putting this policy into practice, the Japanese government deployed missile forces. This policy will help Japan to come up with strategies that will help in maintaining peace with China (Storey, 125). This peaceful coexistence between them will assist them to conduct their trading activities effectively. Some trust will also be built, and Japan will stop viewing China as a threat. Moreover, Japan will ensure that its citizens are safe. The policy will also come up with strategies that will guarantee the safety of the foreigners who come to Japan for business and other reasons. This will attract more people from the international market hence increased economic growth. Generally, this policy will ensure stability and peace in the country.

            The Japanese government can also implement the foreign policy towards China. The Japanese foreign policy is mainly based on its cooperation and relation with the United States.  This policy involves the accepting and evaluation of agreements or treaties with other foreign nations.  The main aim of enacting this policy is for Japan to establish its reliability and credibility as a peaceful country (Backer, 34). This policy will also help Japan to get back its economic stability.  In regards to its relations with China, this policy is very crucial. They can use this policy to make agreements that will encourage great friendly relations with China. Therefore, the political tension between may reduce. Furthermore, they will make stable and reliable expansions to the international market without unhealthy competition. In case China turns to be a threat, they can use the agreements signed to pull out peacefully.

The Most Important Policy

The most significant policy that Japan can implement towards China is the security policy. This policy will act as a basis for regional stability because the measures that they will come up with will be in response to the increased instability in Northeast Asia. Furthermore, Japan will be accepted in the global market if it actively implements this policy. This is because the policy will be a sign that Japan has decided to live behind the bilateral tension that exists between them and its neighbors. These neighbors are South Korea and China.  The security establishments at multilateral and bilateral levels will create trust between China and Japan. Therefore, the political hostility between them can reduce.


The growth of China economically is a global incident. Therefore, it is likely to have relations with many countries in the world. Japan is one f these countries. The two countries have proper bilateral ties. However, these relations are not based on trust but rather the common economic goals. The political animosity contributes these two countries have for one another. It is due to this political tension that we are right to say that these relations can be a threat to Japan.

            Japan is the country that benefits most from this relation. Thus, the chances of China taking advantage of the situation are high. China can use the global market it has established to make Japan a hostage. This can happen when they make business agreements that will only benefit China. To avoid such dangers, it is good for Japan to come up with policies that will guide the bilateral relations they share with China.

            The policies include the trade policy that will guide them on how to deal with their imports and exports, the security policy that will ensure stability and peace between the two countries and the Japanese Foreign Policy that will provide cooperation between Japan and China and other foreign nations. The most crucial policy among this is the security policy.

Works Cited

Backer, Larry Catá. "The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Japan, China, the US, and the emerging shape of a new world trade regulatory order." Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 13 (2014): 49

Storey, Ian. Southeast Asia and the rise of China: The search for security. Routledge,  2013.

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