National stereotypes may provide a useful social psychological perspective in which to consider intergroup relations between national groups. Autostereotypes and heterostereotypes of China and Japan were explored to shed light on one of the most critical intergroup relations in East Asia, namely Sino-Japan relations. Chinese and Japanese undergraduate students see themselves as likeable and warmer than the other, though they both view Japan to be more competent than China. We also examined hypotheses that current stereotypes may reflect shared perceptions of the past international conflicts, and may be influenced by the way people frame the international circumstance of their own country-namely, whether to regard it as linked to Asia or to the Pacific Rim. Moderate support was found for these ideas. Chinese who regarded past Sino-Japan conflicts as more important tended to have a more negative autostereotype, but Japanese who did so held a somewhat more positive autostereotype. Japanese students who linked Japan to the Pacific Rim more strongly held more positive stereotypes of themselves and Chinese, although there was no relation between this belief and stereotypes among Chinese students.
ASJC Scopus subject areas