Japan 0–5 China Far East Asian Games Tokyo (9 May 1917)
Japan 2–1 China 2017 EAFF E-1 Championshop Chōfu (12 December 2017)
China (15), Japan (14)
Japan 0–5 China Far East Asian Games Tokyo (9 May 1917) China 5–0 Japan Nehru Cup Kochi (31 January 1983)
China–Japan football rivalry is a competitive sports rivalry that exists between the national football teams of the two countries, as well as their respective sets of fans.
The rivalry has a long history exists between China and Japan. One of the main reason defining the heat of the serious rivalry exists between two countries is due to historical grievances throughout history of two nations. Two national teams faced up for the first time in 1917, and since then, had played against each other 38 times. Historical tensions had also stemmed the rivalry into one of the most heated rivalry in Asia and a bitter rivalry in the world.
China and Japan shared a relatively long and complicated history. Japan used to be under heavy Chinese influence throughout history, and is part of Sinosphere world. However, Japan often had desires to conquer China and to become new Asian leader. The Japanese tried to invade China via. Korea during the Japanese invasion to Korea, but no avail. In 19th century, Japan transformed from a feudal state into an empire with modern industries, defeating China in the First Sino-Japanese War. This made Japan the dominant Asian power.
Japan and China's tensions escalated into the Second Sino-Japanese War, which Japan invaded and occupied entire of Eastern and Southern China, committing horrible atrocities such as Nanking Massacre. As for the result, relations between two nations has been tense since and with the recent rise of China after years of humiliation, rivalry has become tenser.
Thus, football is not an exception, when both fans used football to fuel the nationalistic ideas.
Prior to 1990s, China was one of Asia's dominant teams while Japan's football development was still limited in amateur level, partly due to little interests of development for football in Japan and high American influence. Thus, Japan often suffered defeats to China. But with the rapid rise of Japan since 1990s, the tie has changed from China to Japan, and since 1998, China has not beaten Japan again.
Despite China is leading the record with 16 wins comparing to 14 wins of Japan, Japan is far more successful than China, winning four AFC Asian Cup and has played in every FIFA World Cup since 1998; while China only won silver medals in two Asian Cup and qualified for just one World Cup.
^Mangan, J.A.; Kim, Hyun-Duck; Cruz, Angelita; Kang, Gi-Heun (2013). "Rivalries: China, Japan and South Korea – Memory, Modernity, Politics, Geopolitics – and Sport". The International Journal of the History of Sport. 30 (10): 1130–1152. doi:10.1080/09523367.2013.800046.