by Ewa Nowogorski
China is not a particularly popular country. Ever since its communist days and with its neighbors perhaps even earlier. Japan being that neighbor has had an antagonistic relationship with China for quite a while during our modern period. This is not a relationship that stays solely at the political level as the everyday Japanese person is likely to view Chinese people in a negative light.
Naturally, when it comes to individuals this is not necessarily the case, as individuals can be pleasant and lovely. However, groups are far more noticeable when compared to individuals. Furthermore, psychologically speaking, negative experiences are often sharper than positive ones. For example, if you see a group of perfectly well-behaved and polite people you are less likely to remember them than a group of ill-mannered misbehaving hooligans.
Chinese tourists are some of the least liked around the world and this sentiment is not unique to Japan. It is because of the behavior of these tourists that a negative image forms regarding the nationality. Japan, being in close proximity to China, is much more likely to receive Chinese tourists than many other countries. Japanese people, being a victim of this geographical circumstance, are thus highly likely to retain a lot of those negative experiences and remember them. Thus, the feelings that Japanese harbor towards their Chinese neighbors are somewhat inevitable.