The Importance of Cultural Exchange Between Japan and ChinaPolitics Society
A workshop celebrating the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China was held in Beijing on March 15 at the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. Titled “Reciprocal Recognition between Japan and China and Public Diplomacy,” the workshop was jointly hosted by the CPIFA, the Nippon Communications Foundation, and the Hōsei University’s Asia and China Research Team at the Research Center for International Japanese Studies.
Attending the event from Japan were: Hōsei University professor, Wang Min; former president of the Japan Foundation, Ogoura Kazuo; deputy editor of Nippon.com and professor at Kyoto Seika University, Miya Kazuho; and representative director of the Nippon Communications Foundation, Harano Jōji.
The attendees from China were: chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Zhao Qizheng; vice president of the CPIFA, Huang Xingyuan; and former member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Zhou Bing De (who is also the niece of the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Enlai).
Ogoura, representing the Japanese side, delivered the keynote speech, in which he noted that cultural diplomacy between Japan and China is entering a period that will transcend the level of mere mutual cultural understanding. He emphasized the importance for each side to foster a cultural diplomacy oriented toward culture as a common global heritage, based on an awareness of how their own culture has already become universal.
In reply to this, representing the Chinese side, Zhao stated that although there are differences between the definitions of public diplomacy in the United States, China, and Japan, he believes that the Chinese people’s awareness of the international community must be increased. He emphasized the necessity of diplomacy in both the public and the private realm.
With regards to interaction between China and Japan, Ogoura said that on the political front, the two nations must free themselves of the burdens of the past. China sometimes severs political communication in the wake of political statements made by Japanese. Ogoura stressed that for the sake of public diplomacy, such actions need to be carefully thought through. Furthermore, he put forth the opinion that China and Japan should collaborate on joint research, artistic performances, cultural productions, and other projects.
Zhao pointed out, for his part, that China’s relations with Japan are more complicated than its relations with the United States and Europe, given the fact that the United States exerts a major influence on both China and Japan. Yet, following the Great East Japan Earthquake and the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, “China offered its support to Japan, recognizing that it wasn’t a fire on the opposite shore,” Zhao explained. He added that it is necessary to share the lessons learned from the disaster and to build a new framework for bilateral cooperation.
After the meeting Zhao commented: “Thanks to the non-governmental setting, we were able to express openly our opinions and feelings. It was an extremely meaningful discussion.”
List of Participants
Ogoura Kazuo, Invited Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University; Secretary General, Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee
Wang Ming, Professor, Hōsei University Research Center for International Japanese Studies
Miya Kazuho, Professor, Kyoto Seika University; Former Editor-in-Chief of Chūō Kōron
Harano Jōji, Representative Director, Nippon Communications Foundation
Kondō Hisashi, Director, Nippon Communications Foundation
Takahashi Ikutomo, Translation and Editorial Dept., Nippon Communications Foundation
Zhao Qizheng, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Zhou Bing De, Former Member, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Huang Xingyuan, Vice President, Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs
Bi Gang, Deputy Secretary General, Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs
Zheng Nailiag, Council Member, Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs
Xing Susu, Deputy Director, Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs Department of Research