This thesis investigates the ways in which representations of Australia in the Asahi Shimbun, a major national newspaper in Japan, have been reproduced and changed between 1 970 and 1 996. The values underlying these representations are analyzed, and compared with Australian values.
While representations of Japan and the Japanese are common in Australia, representations of Australia and Australians are rarely seen in Japan. Those that do appear are dominated by images of Australia’s natural environment, particularly the country' s unique animals. These images reflect dominant Japanese perceptions of the country. While representations of Australia in Japan are, on the surface, changing, reflecting social changes in the two countries, Japanese perceptions of the country remain consistent, and concomitantly the ideological meanings underpinning representation tend to be unchanged over time.
This thesis begins by considering the ways in which the history of Australia- Japan relations has affected Australian and Japanese perceptions of each other. Perceptions of the "Other" are examined in relation to conventional views of the East and the West and national identities, in the context of the history of each nation. Through qualitative and interpretive analysis, the thesis then presents an overview of the ways in which Australia has been represented, and analyses connections between these patterns of representations, and cultural values. From this overview, more detailed readings are made of selected examples. It is argued that consistency in representations, reflecting specific cultural values, provides evidence for understanding the key characteristics of Australia-Japan relations since 1970.