Japan-China Leaders Development Project

Project Title: Japan-China Leaders Development Project: Fostering Understanding through Research and Exchange
Applicant: Professor Stephen Nagy
Grant Amount: ¥1,100,000

Project Summary:
The purpose of this project is to bring undergraduate and or graduate students to China from ICU for research to foster deeper understanding of Sino-Japanese relations based on research and student exchanges. The project hopes to take place November 18th to December 4th, 2016 in which research related trips to Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing would take place. Students would attend classes at several universities in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing to learn about China, Chinese views of the world and Sino-Japanese relations. Through classes and student exchanges, students would network, develop mutual understanding, practice Mandarin/ English and conduct a short term research project based on issues covered in classes.

Sino-Japanese relations have been deteriorating in the political, economic and security spheres. Mutual mistrust and historical issues continue to hamper more friendly relations. Importantly, mutual misconceptions are further contributing to worsening relations.

The GENRON polls from 2004-2015 show that Chinese misconceptions about Japan include being non-repentant for its wartime past, that Japan is remilitarizing, that young Japanese people know little about their past amongst others. On the Japanese side, the GENRON polls from 2004-2015 show that Japanese people have declining amicable feelings towards China, that they feel their is an increasing security challenge with China and that Chinese “don’t like” Japan and Japanese people. These misconceptions will deepen without first hand knowledge of each other.

At the university level and society at large, interest in Sino-Japanese relations is declining because of misunderstandings, apology-fatigue, growing animosity and negative portrayals in mass media. This decline in interest has serious consequences for future Sino-Japanese relations as Japan will not have leaders with direct experience, personal connections and knowledge of China and Sino-Japanese relations from a historical, economic, political and security point of view.
With that in mind, this program aims to overcome the above problems based on four objectives and four expected outcomes.