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.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.