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The Forgotten History: Textbook Controversy and Sino-Japanese Relations

Tan, Weilu (2009) The Forgotten History: Textbook Controversy and Sino-Japanese Relations. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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History plays an important role in shaping the relations between Japan and China. Because Japan�s military expansionism during 1931-1945 has left a deep scar in the memories of the Chinese population, the issue of history remains at the core of Sino-Japanese diplomacy. Since the 1980s, the Chinese government has consistently accused the Japanese government of revising and obscuring Japan�s wartime history, notably that of the Japanese military aggression in China during 1931-1945. China�s reaction against the Japanese government�s whitewashing of history demonstrates the fear that, by rendering Japanese youths oblivious of their nation�s militarist past, Japan may repeat its past. While diplomatic negotiations to improve Sino-Japanese relations have taken place, disagreement over historical interpretation continues to fuel the discontent between the two countries. To better understand the dynamics of the Sino-Japanese relations, the research investigates the origins and nature of the textbook controversy by discussing how the controversy came about and how each government responded to the issue. In addition, the analysis of ultranationalist movement in Japan allows us to understand the public reaction to the controversy as well as its political repercussions. I also explore the Franco-German case of postwar reconciliation and development of preventive institutions. By comparing the postwar experience of China and Japan to that of Europe, we can gain an insight about the creative ways of constructing a common history between historically hostile nations. Finally, the assessment of Japanese leadership since 2000 enables us to evaluate the future development surrounding the problem of history and its impact on bilateral relations.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHart, Dennisdmhart@pitt.eduDMHART
Committee MemberBrown,
Committee MemberCarlitz, Katherinekcarlitz@pitt.eduKCARLITZ
Committee MemberChaiklin, Marthachaiklin@pitt.eduCHAIKLIN
Date: 22 May 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 9 April 2009
Approval Date: 22 May 2009
Submission Date: 7 May 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asian politics; bilateral relations; China; diplomacy; East Asia; Franco-German relations; history; international relations; Japan; multilateral institutions; Sino-Japanese relations; nationalism; revisionist movement; textbook controversy; EU; postwar peace
Other ID:, etd-05072009-211853
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:44
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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