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The discursive reproduction of Chinese and Japanese national identities: Editorials and opinions of the East China Sea dispute in the China Daily and Daily Yomiuri
Unformatted Document Text:  News, identity and ideology 21 newspaper is relatively consistent through the four commentaries over time. While the China Daily portrays the U.S. as the hegemonic power responsible for the tensions between China and Japan, the Daily Yomiuri gives the hegemonic role to China which is using its economic resources to coerce Japan into releasing the Chinese trawler captain. This was the macrostructure adopted by the third and fourth commentaries after the release of the trawler captain. The third commentary in particular is critical of the Japanese government’s decision to release the captain, as shown in extract 12 where the linkage between the Japanese government and the nation is syntactically delinked for the first time to imply that the government’s decision was wrong. Moreover, it presupposes that the majority of Japanese citizens also share this view, thus questioning the legitimacy of the government’s actions which are against the interests of the nation as a whole. This is in contrast to the China Daily commentaries, which never question any of the actions of the Chinese government Extract 12 Since the Japanese government repeatedly said the incident would be handled in line with domestic laws, the decision gave the impression that the Japanese government had given in and failed to stick to its original stance. Many people in this nation likely share this critical view. The government needs to provide the public with a thorough and convincing explanation. (Daily Yomiuri, September 26) Conclusion Despite their importance in the global economy and their long historical ties there has been a lack of studies on how the English-language press from Japan and China report on each other. This study focused on the discursive construction and reproduction of national identities during a diplomatic incident between the two nations. Rather than selectively analyze individual editorial and opinion commentaries four of the first editorials and opinions were analyzed for the China Daily and Daily Yomiuri following the East China Sea incident.

Authors: Chan, Michael.
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News, identity and ideology 21
newspaper is relatively consistent through the four commentaries over time. While the China 
Daily portrays the U.S. as the hegemonic power responsible for the tensions between China 
and Japan, the Daily Yomiuri gives the hegemonic role to China which is using its economic 
resources to coerce Japan into releasing the Chinese trawler captain. This was the 
macrostructure adopted by the third and fourth commentaries after the release of the trawler 
captain. 
The third commentary in particular is critical of the Japanese government’s decision 
to release the captain, as shown in extract 12 where the linkage between the Japanese 
government and the nation is syntactically delinked for the first time to imply that the 
government’s decision was wrong. Moreover, it presupposes that the majority of Japanese 
citizens also share this view, thus questioning the legitimacy of the government’s actions 
which are against the interests of the nation as a whole. This is in contrast to the China Daily 
commentaries, which never question any of the actions of the Chinese government
Extract 12
Since the Japanese government repeatedly said the incident would be handled 
in line with domestic laws, the decision gave the impression that the Japanese 
government had given in and failed to stick to its original stance. Many 
people in this nation likely share this critical view. The government needs to 
provide the public with a thorough and convincing explanation. (Daily 
Yomiuri, September 26)
Conclusion
Despite their importance in the global economy and their long historical ties there has 
been a lack of studies on how the English-language press from Japan and China report on 
each other. This study focused on the discursive construction and reproduction of national 
identities during a diplomatic incident between the two nations. Rather than selectively 
analyze individual editorial and opinion commentaries four of the first editorials and opinions 
were analyzed for the China Daily and Daily Yomiuri following the East China Sea incident. 


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