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In 2013, the Japanese philosopher Jun Yonaha published a provocative best-seller book and a slew of articles on the Sinicization of Japan. His thesis is that 900 years ago, Song Dynasty China established a Sinicized global powerhouse system incorporating free markets and a system of absolute imperial rule, all united in ideological orthodoxy by a meritocratically selected Neo-Confucianist civil service.

Yonaha also describes a Westernized pluralistic system of capitalism, representative democracy, rights and equality that grew out of early modern Europe, which later dominated the globe and modernized Japan. But he insists that with the decline of Western economic power and influence and the rise of China, its Sinitic model is returning to the center of global power again. Rather than oppose this, Japan ought to reflect on the failures of its Westernization and re-Sinicize. China and Japan should cooperate to create a new history, resolve their mutual problems, and adopt the best aspects of both Western and Chinese political ideas, Yonaha says.

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