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About this author. Vasundhra Aggarwal. Read comments. Businesses led the opening of relationships between Japan and its neighbors, but with government support, youth and citizen exchange programs followed. Today, the leaders of Japan, South Korea, and China have all inherited those postwar settlements from parents who sought to implement them.
The youngest survivors of that period are now entering their final years. Childhood memories of bloody destruction and victimization are resurfacing as many hope to pass on the costs of those years to those Japanese, Koreans, or Chinese who know little of their experience. Increasingly, in South Korea and China, there is new political opportunity to advocate for those victims of war whose experiences went unacknowledged in formal peace negotiations with Japan. In , the Court ruled that the Korean government must reopen the question of responsibility and atonement for Korean women forced to work in Japanese military brothels.
Similar cases have been brought to the court by prisoners of war forced to work in Japanese companies. Likewise, in Beijing, citizens forced to labor for Japanese companies during the war are taking similar court action.
This summer it was reported that Mitsubishi Materials Corporation would present remuneration for 3, workers, including Chinese forced laborers. War memory and the quest for justice for those who suffered is no longer perceived as solely a matter for governments to resolve, it has become deeply embedded in the domestic politics of both South Korea and increasingly China. In the next several weeks, two commemorations of the end of World War II will draw particular attention. The first is the much-anticipated statement by Prime Minister Abe on August 15, the day commemorating the end of the war in Japan.
algilydermont.tk Sitting prime ministers have chosen to issue their own statements every ten years and in , former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi issued his personal statement on the sixtieth anniversary. Even within Japan, there have been concerns over the direction the prime minister might set and the potential damage that might result in Japanese regional diplomacy.
The diplomatic estrangement between Tokyo and Seoul has been a particularly difficult hurdle for U.
01. November 2015
For much of the past several years, Chinese government officials have waged a global effort to condemn Japanese wartime behavior in China, and regional and global leaders are wary of appearing to condone the denigration of Japan by its neighbor. The United States, too, is increasingly drawn into the geopolitics of Asia.
Beyond the United States, these differences over the past century have also carried over into United Nations deliberations. A compromise was finally worked out, but media coverage highlighted the deep sensitivities over how to memorialize the past in both countries. For all of the high politics of dueling narratives over World War II, the devastation of that war in Asia was complete.
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