Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute and Taiwan’s Netizens’ Sentiments Toward Japan and China
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Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute has caused tensions among China, Japan, and Taiwan for decades. Although the 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, Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute may tell another story. The act of Japanese government to nationalize Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in 2012 has provoked anger among its neighbor countries. Are Taiwanese people in favor of Japan’s stance on Senkaku/Diaoyu 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 Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute in the past 4 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.
KeywordsSenkaku/Diaoyu islands China Japan Sentiment analysis
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