Friday, October 06, 2006

History in Asia

It seems that many of the disputes in northeast Asia are about events that happened decades, or even centuries ago. Even if one leaves out the fact that Japan's apology for WWII may not reflect a truly sincere feeling of wrongdoing on the part of Japan's elite, you still have to wonder why other countries in the region cannot just accept the fact that for better or worse, Japan has done all of the "apologizing" for its past behavior that it's ever going to do. It would seem that with the developments in the region today, perhaps they should concentrate on the present actions/motivations of the countries in the region. They do to some extent, but history---and nationalism---still seem to take a very prominent place.

An article in Japan Focus, explains why history is so much a focus in the region. Although Japan is not specifically discussed in the article (it concerns China and south Korea), it does show how historical events and their interpretation (and manipulation) affect international relationships. You can read the article here
in Japan Focus.

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