Which country is more isolated from the outside world, China or Japan?
David W. Rudlin, Novelist, corporate poo bah, foodaholic, political junkie.
Answered Aug 18
A few years ago I was running both the Japan and China markets for a major multinational.
We had a major new product launch, and scheduled meetings with the fashion press in both countries.
In China the first question the editors asked was “Are we going to do this in English, French or Mandarin?”
In Japan all the meetings were in Japanese.
The Chinese editors talked about their recent trips to Paris, a party held by one of the major luxury brands on the Great Wall, which US colleges their kids had gained admission to.
In Japan they talked about the stagnant local market.
I left thinking that China had lapped Japan in worldliness.
However, we’re talking about a small group of people in the big cities. People in rural China know nothing about the outside world, and very little about Beijing. There is a gap in Japan as well, but since it’s much smaller geographically — and educational standards are the same nationwide — it’s a much narrower gap than in China.
That said, the average Japanese knows a LOT more about America than the average American knows about Japan. Take away the coasts and America wins Miss Isolation with ease.
Xiaoyang Zhang, PhD in Sociology, University of Essex
Answered Aug 20
It is interesting to say that this question is by itself an answer in some senses. Just take a look about all the answers it has, 3 out of all 6 answer writers have a special introduction besides their names highlighting that they are either from China (me) or have a relationship with China. No single answer is wrote either by Japanese or by a writer highlight his/her relationship with Japan.
Since Quora is somewhat an international website, I think this phenomenon are pretty self-evident to demonstrate the fact that China has much more connection than Japan.
Taisho Mori (森 大正)
Answered Aug 19
Politically and economically speaking, neither is isolated. China is the biggest trading nation, Japan is in the top 5. Culturally speaking, definitely Japan. Japanese people have the island mentality. They are extremely self-centered and have little understanding and interest of the outside world. The number of Chinese students studying abroad in multiple foreign countries is several times higher than that of their Japanese counterparts. Chinese culture in general is more open and inclusive, while the Japanese is more closed and exclusive. While Japan is technically a Democracy and foreign media and companies are allowed to operate within Japan, it’s virtually impossible to find a foreign car on the streets in Japan, and virtually nobody watches foreign press, they limit themselves to Japan-made stuff only. Same cannot be said about China.
Ray Comeau, A decade in China, interest in geopolitics
Answered Aug 15
What does isolated mean?
Neither is really isolated from the outside world.
Both have numbers of citizens who travel all over the world.
They may think and behave differently then the West.
Both prefer their culture to western culture.
Both prefer their native food to foreign food.
Both limit immigration.