Ambassador Doraemon: Japan's Pop Culture Diplomacy in China and South Korea
Harris, Richard Jonathan
Despite a growing literature on Japanese soft power and public diplomacy, little research quantifies its effects or orients it in policy discussions. This paper investigates the relationship of consumption of Japanese popular culture and opinions of Japan among mainland Chinese and South Koreans. Data from the 2008 Chicago Council on Global Affairs Soft Power in Asia public opinion poll is analyzed with OLS regression methods and shows a statistically significant association between frequent consumption of Japanese popular culture and a higher opinion of Japan. This association is dependent on the age of the respondent for South Koreans but not Chinese. These results suggest that Japan should seek to expand its popular culture throughout East Asia to increase its standing in the region. Additionally, fear of Japanese military strength and having met a Japanese person are found to be statistically significant and robust predictors of high feelings towards Japan, indicating other areas where Japan may focus attention to develop better relations.
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