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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 5 the three-week span between the Chinese trawler captain’s arrest and his eventual release the incident received front-page coverage on 17 editions of the Daily Yomiuri and 13 editions of the China Daily. This demonstrated the perceived importance of the incident and its high place in the public agenda and the potential to shape public opinion. Finally, it should be noted that there have been few, if any, comparative studies of international newspapers within Asia. Before describing the theoretical framework of the study I will first elaborate more on the context of the dispute in light of China and Japan relations. Context of the dispute: China and Japan relations The historical relationship between China and Japan is long and complex. One characterization offered by Hsiung (2007) describes it as follows: Rarely, if ever in human history, did two nations culturally and ethnically as close as China and Japan find themselves in a relationship marked so much more by blood and tears than by joy and jubilation—over a span of time measured not by years or decades, but by centuries. (p. 1) Given the wide scope of China-Japan relations this paper only examines those aspects that are pertinent to the context of this study. In terms of its history Japan is indebted to China for many aspects of its culture, such as its writing system, religion, architecture, law and philosophy. From the end of the 19 th century to the present the two countries have been involved in two costly wars and formal diplomatic relations after World War II were only reestablished in 1972. Since then, China has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Japanese foreign investment and presently the countries are the second and third largest economies in the world with enormous bilateral economic ties. Chinese consumers have long had a favorable impression of Japanese products because of they are associated with quality and status (Laforet & Chen, 2010) while China has been the top destination for Japanese tourists

Authors: Chan, Michael.
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News, identity and ideology 5
the three-week span between the Chinese trawler captain’s arrest and his eventual release the 
incident received front-page coverage on 17 editions of the Daily Yomiuri and 13 editions of 
the China Daily. This demonstrated the perceived importance of the incident and its high 
place in the public agenda and the potential to shape public opinion. Finally, it should be 
noted that there have been few, if any, comparative studies of international newspapers 
within Asia.
Before describing the theoretical framework of the study I will first elaborate more on 
the context of the dispute in light of China and Japan relations.
Context of the dispute: China and Japan relations
The historical relationship between China and Japan is long and complex. One 
characterization offered by Hsiung (2007) describes it as follows:
Rarely, if ever in human history, did two nations culturally and ethnically as 
close as China and Japan find themselves in a relationship marked so much 
more by blood and tears than by joy and jubilation—over a span of time 
measured not by years or decades, but by centuries. (p. 1)
Given the wide scope of China-Japan relations this paper only examines those aspects 
that are pertinent to the context of this study. In terms of its history Japan is indebted to China 
for many aspects of its culture, such as its writing system, religion, architecture, law and 
philosophy. From the end of the 19
th
 century to the present the two countries have been 
involved in two costly wars and formal diplomatic relations after World War II were only 
reestablished in 1972. Since then, China has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Japanese 
foreign investment and presently the countries are the second and third largest economies in 
the world with enormous bilateral economic ties. Chinese consumers have long had a 
favorable impression of Japanese products because of they are associated with quality and 
status (Laforet & Chen, 2010) while China has been the top destination for Japanese tourists 


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