Font Size: a A A

China as mirror: How Japanese national dailies watch China and Japan-China relations, 1972--2004

Posted on:2006-02-03Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:The University of Wisconsin - MadisonCandidate:Sun, JingFull Text:PDF
GTID:1456390008968325Subject:Political science
My dissertation, China as Mirror: How Japanese Newspapers Watch China, 1972--2003, examines Japan's top two national dailies' portrayals of China and of Japanese-Chinese relations since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972. I argue that these portrayals, while politically consequential, are driven more by concerns about Japan than about China, and that journalists are choosing from a series of normative frames, explaining China so as to understand Japan's identity and place in the world. This suggests that China's image has been socially constructed as a mirror by the Japanese media to reflect Japan's major social debates concerning its state purpose, national values, and international role, and revealed how Japanese journalists have been pulled between Japan's Asian and Western identities, forever seeking an internal equilibrium.; Methodologically, this dissertation tests all the major claims on media-state relations. First, by using two different newspapers with competing ideological orientations, the study tests whether the Japanese media faithfully carry out the role of being a passive transmitter, and are restrained from going any further beyond being a neutral observer. Second, the study examines the same newspapers across eras. In doing so, it tests the claim that media always criticize the Japanese government, or that they are always supportive of state initiatives. Third, it chooses international coverage to examine the power of national identity in shaping media portrayals, and to demonstrate how portrayals of China have been constructed by media to become relevant to the questions of "who we are" and "what we stand for" among the Japanese public.; The goal of this study is to highlight the causal power of norms and ideas. Unlike structurally based approaches that regard identities as causally manipulative to physical realities, this study places identity as an independent variable and shows how "what people believe" shapes the ways journalists interpreted events and determine their unfixed roles vis-a-vis the state and societal actors in a democratic polity.
Keywords/Search Tags:China, Japanese, National, Mirror, Relations, Japan's, Portrayals
Related items