Dispatch Troops Without a Just Cause: Fish Islands Dispute and Taiwan's Netizens' Sentiments Toward Japan and China
26 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 27, 2013
Fish islands dispute has caused tensions among China, Japan and Taiwan for decades. Though Taiwanese government keeps a low profile on the dispute, the issue has flared up online discussion among Taiwan’s netizens. Many consider Taiwanese people more pro-Japan than other countries in East Asia, as elder generation living on the island shares nostalgia toward Japan, and as its younger generation charmed by Japanese manga and anime, let alone Taiwan being the top donor to Japan’s 311 earthquake. In this vein, Taiwanese people should accommodate well with Japan. However, Fish islands dispute may tell another story.
The act of Japanese government to nationalize Fish islands this year (2012) has provoked anger among its neighbor countries. It has mentioned in ancient Chinese wisdom by Sun Zi in "The Art of War": “A just cause premises dispatching troops.” However, to nationalize Fish islands and even dispatch coast guard vessels to protect the islands are deemed lack of the very just cause by Japan’s neighbor countries, especially China. Are Taiwanese people in favor of Japan’s stance on Fish islands dispute due to the attachment for Japan or the other way round?
This paper applies text mining technique and sentiment analysis to the digital data of Taiwan’s largest Bulletin Board System Station – PTT established by college students and extracts postings concerning Fish islands dispute in the past four years (2009-2012). By this bottom-up approach, we aim to examine Taiwan’s netizens’ emotion toward the two hegemonies – i.e., Japan and China and to see whether the strong attachment to Japan has any impact on netizens’ opinions on the dispute.
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