Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific


Sixty Fourth Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb to be used in war was dropped on the city of Hiroshima.  Sixty-four years later, as the number of survivors from the bombing steadily grow thin in numbers–Hiroshima, the bomb, and their legacy continue to live on as symbols within contemporary debates over the future of nuclear armaments, denuclearization, and non-proliferation.  The media surrounding the sixty-fourth commemoration of the bombing include articles on the reparations for under-represented Korean victims of the bombing, an American public opinion poll indicating that 61 percent of 2,400 questioned Americans believe the US did the “right thing” by dropping the bomb, personal narratives by both the Hibakusha victims and from Enola Gay crew member Morris Jeppson, and the controversy over former-JASDF Chief of Staff Gen. Toshio Tamogami’s lecture in Hiroshima entitled “Casting Doubt on Hiroshima’s Peace.”

In other recent news, the Yokohama city board of education approved the use of the controversial Jiyuu-sha textbook, setting the precedent as the first major city in Japan to approve the use of the controversial history textbook.  Additionally, as the August 30th election for the lower-house of the Japanese parliament looms near, media sources are speculating on the impact a DPJ government may have on historical memory issues in the Asia-Pacific.

Hiroshima Marks 64th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing, Asahi Shimbun, August 6, 2009.

Aso, Hibakusha Sign Accord on Peace Measures, Asahi Shimbun, August 6, 2009.

Panel Proposes Inviting Obama to Visit Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Asahi Shimbun, August 3, 2009.

U.S. Poll Finds Support for Atomic Bombing of Japan, Mainichi Shimbun, August 5, 2009.

Interview with Enola Gay Crew Member Morris Jeppson, Mainichi Shimbun, August 4, 2009.

A-bomb Victims Refuse to Lapse into Silence, Mainichi Shimbun, August 3, 2009.

Strive for Nuclear Disarmament, The Japan Times, August 6, 2009.

Tamogami’s A-bomb Speech Plan Slammed, The Japan Times, August 2, 2009.

Ex-Soldier to Stir Up A-bomb Survivors, The Australian, August 4, 2009.

Recent News:

Yokohama OKs Disputed History Text, Asahi Shimbun, August 5, 2009.

Yokohama Adopts Nationalistic Junior High History Textbook, The Japan Times, August 5, 2009.

Japan Party Set to Shun War Shrine, The China Daily, August 5, 2009.

Yuji Hosaka: Born to Defend Korea’s Dokdo Claims, The Korea Herald, August 3, 2009.

History May Haunt Asia Less Under Japan Democrats, Reuters India, August 2, 2009.



How to Move Forward with Reconciliation in East Asia

Professor Mike Mochizuki pointed out the importance of developing a web of institutions for reconciliation in East Asia in his presentation at the Northeast Asian History Foundation, Seoul. Mainichi Shimbun argues that Japan needs to find its atonement in East Asia after the demise of the the San Francisco Treaty structure.

Web of Institutions Can Resolve History Issues in Northeast Asia, Korea Times, July 8, 2009

Japan must find its own path to atonement for wartime, colonial history, Mainichi Shimbun, July 7, 2009



Japanese MPs apolgize for Pingdingshan Massacre of 1932
May 14, 2009, 3:04 pm
Filed under: China, China-Japan, Compensation Issues, Japan

Kumiko Aihara, a member of the Japanese Diet, handed a letter of apology with signatures by 24 Japanese MPs to survivors of Pingdingshan Massacre:

Japanese MPs apologize for massacre in northeast China 77 years ago, Xinhua, May 5, 2009



Weekly Update – April 06, 2009

Korea-U.S. Relations: Fact v. Fiction, JoongAng Daily, April 06, 2009.

Chinese President Puts Five-Point Proposal on China-Japan Relations, Xinhua News Agency, April 02, 2009.

Lu Chuan (“Nanjing!Nanjing!”) Brings History to ‘Life and Death’, The Hollywood Reporter, April 02, 2009.

Japanese Anthem Controversy Reflects Broader Cultural Battle Over Nation’s Past, The Jurist, April 04, 2009.

Japanese High Court Turns Down Lawsuit by Chinese Forced Laborers During WWII, Xinhua News Agency, March 27, 2009.

On City’s Plastic Bags, an Old and Distant Dispute, New York Times, March 20, 2009.



Weekly Update – Feb. 23

War Crimes Trial Lawyer Aided Judges, Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 23, 2009.

Government Denounces Japan’s ‘Dokdo Day’, Chosun Daily, Feb. 23, 2009.

Japanese and Koreans Learn to Live Together in Harmony in L.A.’s Little Tokyo, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 23, 2009.

China Haunted by Khmer Rouge Links, Asia Times, Feb. 21, 2009.

Local Tourism Bites Back, JoongAng Daily, Feb. 20, 2009.

Invasion of Malaysia: One Man’s Fight against Japan’s Historical Amnesia, The New Strait Times, Feb. 19, 2009.



Weekly Update – Feb. 9

History Sets Scene for Two Musicals, The Korean Herald, February 9, 2009.

Movie About China’s Schindler Tells Story of Unlikely German Hero, Deutsche Welle, February 9, 2009.

Unexploded Bomb Removed from Southern Japan Site, The Daily Yomiuri, February 8, 2009.

Sudden Change in North Korea, The Korea Times, February 8, 2009.

Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea [Related PDF], CFR, January, 2009.

Japan Court Upholds Nanjing Libel Pay-out, AFP, February 6, 2009.

Aso Mining POWs Seek Redress, The Japan Times, February 6, 2009.

Galleries go Low-key, JoongAng Daily, February 6, 2009.

Smithsonian Puts East Sea, Dokdo on Korean Map, JoongAng Daily, February 6, 2009.

Japan Must Not Be Rewarded the 2016 Olympics under Ishihara, The Seoul Times, February 6, 2009.

Sinking Feeling, JoongAng Daily, February 4, 2009.

Victims of Colonialism? Japanese Agrarian Settlers and Their Repatriation to Japan, Japan Focus, February 2, 2009.

From the Nanjing Massacre to American Global Expansion: Reflections on American and Japanese Amnesia, Japan Focus, February 1, 2009.

Japan Should Follow the International Trend and Face Its History of World War II Forced Labor, Japan Focus, January 29, 2009.



Weekly Update – Oct. 27

Voices of Asia, Europe draw global attention, People’s Daily, October 27, 2008

Shuttle Diplomacy, Korea Times, October 26, 2008

Exhibition marks 63rd anniversary of Taiwan recovery from Japanese occupation, China Daily, October 26, 2008

Dutch Foreign Minister Verhagen underscores cooperation with Japan in Mainichi Q&A, Mainichi Shimbun, October 25, 2008

China, EU pledge to fight financial crisis, ABS-CBN News, October 24, 2008

China hosts reception to honor Sino-Japanese peace treaty, Xinhua, October 24, 2008

Make Dokdo Day Official, Chosun Ilbo, October 24, 2008

China peace treaty’s 30th year marked by underscoring ties, Japan Times, October 23, 2008

Chinese, Japanese PMs exchange congratulatory messages on 30th anniversary of peace treaty, Xinhua, October 23, 2008

Verhagen visiting China, Japan and South Korea, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs News, October 23, 2008

VANK Deserves Better, Chosun Ilbo, October 22, 2008

He Who Seeks The Truth , My Sinchew, October 22, 2008

Help Cyber Diplomats, Korea Times, October 22, 2008

[Column] Remembering the abandoned, Hankyoreh, October 22, 2008

Lee, Aso ‘to Mend Ties’ at ASEM Meet, Chosun Ilbo, October 21, 2008

Japan PM Aso haunted by family’s wartime past, Reuters, October 21, 2008

Differentiation Is Missing Element in Branding Korea, Korea Times, October 21, 2008

UPDATE 1-India PM to visit Japan and China to boost ties, Reuters, October 20, 2008