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DPJ's(Democratic Party of Japan)Policy toward China: A Study on Hatoyama Administration and Kan Administration
In August 2009, Japan’s biggest opposition party Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) defeated Liberal Democratic Party(LDP), which has ruled Japan almost a half century since 1955. The DPJ won 308 seats in the 480 seatsof lower house, Yukio Hatoyama took office as prime minister of Japan and named cabinet. Yukio Hatoyama was expected to deliver his election promises and face a series of tasks of Japan, such as how to thrive Japan’s current economy and build a steady relationship with U.S. while creating closer China-Japan relations. Hatoyama mentioned that he thought Japan has to distance itself from US diplomatic policies and be more independent. Hatoyama also proposed the East Asian Community concept, which is similar to the EU, he asked China to work together for forming East Asian Community and overcoming differenced between China and Japan in order to deepening mutually beneficial China-Japan ties and emphasized China is crucial for Japan. Before Hatoyama took office, he pledged not to visit Yasukuni Shrine, showed his intention to improve relations between with China and Japan. However, the move of increasing intimate relations with China made U.S. concerned about the anti-America vision of DPJ government may damage the U.S.-Japan relations. At the end, Hatoyama couldn’t break the deadlock of U.S.-Japan relations and failed to fulfill his pledge to move the U.S. base away from Okinawa, Hatoyama resigned in June, 2010. Yukio Hatoyama’s successor, Naoto Kan, has learned lesson from Hatoyama, did not want to challenge the position of the U.S.-Japan relations, tried to regain the trust of Washington. On September 7, 2010, a Chinese fishing vessel collided with Japanese patrol boats in the East Sea near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands claimed by both China and Japan. After Japan detained Chinese fishing boat captain, China reacted furiously and demanding an apology and compensation. Beijing suspended talks with Tokyo, blocked exports of rare earths. U.S. offered reassurance to Japan that the Senkaku Islands covered by the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, expressed strong support for Kan administration. Indeed, the U.S.-Japan relations are highly valued again, Japan expressed concerns over Chinese military build-up and Chinese navy, eager to strengthen military ties with the U.S. against China. These moves made the China-Japan relations entered into dead end, the rising tension made the China-Japan relations cooled immediately. Even Kan gave harsh criticism to China but still emphasized maintaining good relations with China is vital, especially China is Japan’s biggest trade partner, indicated that making China-Japan Relations back on track is a big task. The China Policy of Yukio Hatoyama administration and Naoto Kan administration displayed different patterns of China-Japan interactions. The purpose of this thesis is to find out the differences and similarities of China policy between the two administration, analyze the major events between China and Japan, and observe the factors that affect China policy of Hatoyama administration and Kan administration.
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