Tag: Korea-Japan

Korea-Japan 1910-1945: Japan’s difficult way of admitting historical wrongdoings

With memorizing the centenary of Japan’s annexation of Korea, much has happened around reviewing the history between the two countries these past months. A new apology by Prime Minister Kan, the return of cultural heritage, release of original state documents which provided scholars with new evidence for proving the illegality of the treaty from 1910; Japan is on the move. Despite these gestures, for Koreans nothing seems to have changed at all. For them there is only one way to go: an official acknowledgment by Japan of the illegality of colonization of Korea. The recently expanded nullification movement delivers hard evidence of Japan’s wrongdoing. But can legal proof beat Japan’s nationalist sentiment?
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Japan-Korea 1910-1945: Polarization in Japan

This past week the tepid reaction to the apology of the Japanese prime minister dominated the news.  Today, a more positive light shone through when the Korean minister of foreign affairs, Yu Myung-Hwan, emphasized that the apology certainly is ‘very meaningful’. The reality that Kan’s gesture made a difference became clear through the gathering of progressive and conservative demonstrators alike, who crowded the streets of Tokyo yesterday. Progressive partisans pleaded for a stronger gesture towards Korea and other Asian countries, but were pleased with the prime minister’s decision not to attend Yasukuni. The war memorial commemorates the people who died for Imperialist Japan, which upset many conservatives who place great value on the memorial. They also marched the streets on the day that Japan fell in 1945.
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