A big difference in the degree of respect for copyright can be observed between China and Japan. The concept of rights, including copyright, is generally believed to have been born in the West, not in the East, which has a strong tradition in Confucian culture. The Eastern concept of rights was introduced and absorbed from the West in modern times. Although these two countries possess the same Confucian culture, why are the differences in copyright concepts between China and Japan so great? In this paper, we examine why the Confucian culture did not produce a concept of rights and briefly review the history of Western concepts of rights. On this basis, we discuss and compare China and Japan’s acceptance of Western rights consciousness. In the process of successfully accepting the concept of Western rights, Japan paid greater attention to eliminating obstacles to Confucian culture. Thus, Japan’s experience can provide useful learning for China, where the concept of Western rights is currently becoming accepted and popularized.