Since 2010, the confrontation over the Senkaku Diaoyu Islands (S/D issue) dispute has greatly worsened Japan-China relations. Under these circumstances, public opinion has exerted a great influence on the progress over this issue by exerting pressure on the home governments. Preceding a discussion on the public opinion about the S/D issue, the first question that should be answered is when and how such public opinion began to be formed. Therefore, in the present study, I would like to provide answers about the formation process of the public opinion about the S/D issue in Chinese society.
Although previous studied offered some clues for discovering the answer to this question, identifying an exact time for when the public opinion was formed is overlooked.. In light of the importance of the S/D issue for Japan-China relations and in East Asia in general, a definite understanding of this issue will have important significance in various aspects. Therefore, in the present study, I would like to explore the answer using empirical analysis and literature survey based on the theory of political communication.According to the results of the analysis, this issue was widely reported for the first time by the Chinese media in the 1970s. However, this issue began to become widely known among the Chinese general people from 1990 onwards. Among various factors, one factor leading to the formation of public opinion is noteworthy. It was a change in the media environment, in particular the appearance of television.