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Japan and reconciliation in post-war Asia : the Murayama by Tōgō, Kazuhiko

By Tōgō, Kazuhiko

Japan and Reconciliation in Post-war Asia considers former jap best minister Tomiichi Murayama's 1995 apology assertion, the peak of Japan's post-war apology, and examines its implications for reminiscence, diplomacy, and reconciliation in Asia. Taking a comparative procedure and situating dialogue inside of broader debates approximately struggle, apology, and reconciliation, this quantity collect insider  Read more...

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Extra resources for Japan and reconciliation in post-war Asia : the Murayama Statement and its implications

Example text

The recognition that things went wrong at home and on the international stage can certainly coexist with vision and idealism. In other words, the visionary pre-1945 Japan could have committed wrongs that can be broadly defined as “colonialism” and “aggression,” therefore warranting some humility, and affirming the remorse and apology expressed in the Murayama Statement. The Kike Wadatsumino Koe [Listen to the voice from the seabed] collection of wills written by perished soldiers, which includes the wills of kamikaze pilots, also provides a shockingly sharp and penetrating criticism of pre-war Japan, as if these soldiers were the precursors of Prime Minister Murayama: From the 2/26 incident, Japan took a mistaken road.

In her work on apologies in international politics, political scientist Jennifer Lind points to the irony that well-meaning efforts, such as apologies, to soothe relations between former enemies can actually inflame them as a result of the backlash they generate at home. Moreover, she argues that international reconciliation can take place without apologies or other gestures of contrition (Lind 2008). An examination of apologies in recent Sino-Japanese relations seems to support her warning about the backlash and its damaging effect.

At the same time, Chinese leaders and the media came to emphasize “the spirit of the Murayama Statement” in dealing with Japanese actions on history issues of which they did not approve. The Japanese revisionist history textbook Even if the Murayama Statement did not fully satisfy China, it certainly created even more backlash in Japan, which was already building up in the early 1990s. Conservative Diet members established groups aimed at countering such apologies. Outside the Diet, conservative scholars and activists launched a movement to create a new history textbook to bolster the pride of Japan.

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