“unreturned” to the motherland. AfterChina’s take-over of Hong Kong andMacau, Taiwan has become a symbolas well as a reminder of not only allthe injustice and humiliations Chinahad suffered from imperialist powers,but also of the incompleteness of China’s territory integrity, nationalsovereignty, and ultimately nationalpride – this is essentially why Beijingfelt specically offended when Tokyopublicly expressed its “concerns” oversecurity in the Taiwan Strait.Evidently, nationalistic sentimentsare also growing in Japan, but fordifferent reasons. Over a decade of economic stagnation has given rise towide-spread frustration and anxietyin Japan that the nation has peaked,its inuence is declining, and itsfuture prosperity depends on Chinawhich, with its booming economy andincreasing inuence, is becoming thecenter of gravity for economic, politicaland diplomatic activists in Asia.Consequently, many Japanese feelthreatened by China’s growing militarypower under the CCP leadership.On the other hand, Japanese peoplebelieve that, after 60 years of beinga responsible, peaceful, democraticand generous member of the worldcommunity, Japan has earned its rightto be seen and treated as a “normal”state in international affairs. They areirritated by China’s endless requestsfor “apology” and its opposition to Japan’s quest for normalcy and aseat in UN Security Council, despite$32 billion in Overseas DevelopmentAssistance to China.Ironically, not only do growingnationalistic sentiments in Japan andChina mirror each other, but they arealso fueling each other, with identicalpolitical consequences: leaders in bothcountries are trying to ride on the tidesof nationalism in order to enhancetheir popularity (Japan) and legitimacy(China) in domestic politics. This hasenabled nationalistic sentimentsto hijack both leaderships in Sino- Japanese relations, preventing themfrom making rational decisions fortheir nations’ best interests. Instead,while growing anxiety over potentialthreat from a rising China has helpedto popularize Koizumi’s “stubbornness”and empowered the right-wing groupsin political affairs, rising anti-Japaneseresentment has translated intoBeijing’s “tough stance” toward Japanand its condoning, if not connivance,of violent anti-Japan demonstrations.What comes out of all this is thegrowing suspicion and distrust betweenthe two great nations. Nowadays Tokyoand Beijing cannot even communicate,let alone cooperate, with eachother, not necessarily because theyfail to see that reconciliation andcooperation would serve their nations’best interests, but because theyare skeptical about the other side’swillingness and sincerity to make anymeaningful compromises necessaryfor constructive cooperation. With thisbackdrop, China’s fast development, its
Over a decade of economic stagnation has givenrise to wide-spread frustration and anxiety in Japan that the nation has peaked, its inuenceis declining, and its future prosperity dependson China which, with its booming economy andincreasing inuence, is becoming the center of gravity for economic, political and diplomaticactivists in Asia.