Are there any similarities in the relationship between Japan and China with the relationship between Byzantium and its neighbors? Which neighboring states of Byzantium are most similar to Japan?
The relationship between China and Japan most closely resembles the relationship between Byzantium and Bulgaria. But the natural conditions of the Far East made it difficult for military clashes between the Japanese and the Chinese. Therefore, China could not prevent the independent development of Japan, just as Byzantium prevented the development of Bulgaria in the 11th century. Japan also could not (until the 16th century) intervene in Chinese affairs as energetically as Bulgaria interfered in Byzantine strife back in the 8th-10th centuries.
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