Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific


Weekly Update – August 8

Two articles on South Korea reports Korean movements against Japan on Dokto Islets or Takeshima and the Sea of Japan or East Sea. The Northeast Asian History Foundation organized a scholary forum on Dokto Issue.

 Korean Times provides a positive commentary on Chinese Director Li Ying’s documentary film, ‘Yasukuni’, which was recently released in Korea.

A Mainichi Shimbun journalist writes on her interaction with hibakusha and introduces a second generation hibakusha Hiromi Peterson, a Japanese who married to an American in Hawaii. She produced a textbook that recounts her family’s experiences after the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. The textbook is now used across Hiroshima.

Jay Taylor’s new book titled “The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China” sheds a new light on Chiang Kai-shek’s life highlighting his talent as a strategist and rebutting some of popular conceptions such as his reluctance to exhaust his army in battles against the Japanese Army, utilizing new materials.

South Koreans want water called East Sea, UPI August 6, 2009

‘Japan’s Claim to Dokdo Threatens Peace in N-E Asia’, Korea Times, August 6, 2009

‘Yasukuni’ Cuts Into Spiritual Dimension, Koera Times, August 6, 2009

Serving as a bridge to spread the message of the atomic bombing, Mainichi Shimbun, August 6, 2009

The Generalissimo, Christian Science Monitor, August 6, 2009



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.



Update on North Korean Nuclear Issue
July 10, 2009, 3:59 pm
Filed under: China, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, Korea

What’s Driving Pyongyang?, GlobalSecurity.org, July 3, 2009

Allies in Paranoia and Repression, Far Eastern Economic Review, July 3, 2009

Dialogue-First Diplomacy Not Working, CBS, July 8, 2009



South Korean reaction to the NK issue
July 6, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Korea

The two articles below represent South Korean views that tie the issue of North Korean nuclear weapon with the national pride and autonomy of Koreans.

[Viewpoint] Fears over history repeating itself, JoongAng Daily, June 26, 2009

Looking for Clue, Korea Times, June 29, 2009



Nucler Ambitions of North Korea
July 6, 2009, 6:37 pm
Filed under: Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The articles below report issues surrounding North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. In the fifth article, Yale University historian Paul Kenney commends President Obama’s cautious policy towards North Korea, which attracted criticisms from those seeking more harsh punishment on North Korea. Financial Times reports would-be North Korean leader Kim Jong-woon’s visit at China.

Wada Haruki: Japan-North Korea Relations—A Dangerous Stalemate , Asia Pacific Journal, June 22, 2009

A new North Korea strategy , USA Today, June 24, 2009

Ambassadors of 4 nations urge N.K. back to talks, Korean Herald, June 24, 2009

U.S. Renews Sanctions Against North Korea , New American, June 25, 2009

In Praise of Caution, New York Times, June 30, 2009

North Korean ‘bright leader’ visits China, Financial Times, June 28, 2009

South Korea in a new Asia initiative, Asia Times, June 30, 2009

North Korean Ship Turning Around, CBS, June 30, 2009



China Halted its Official Exchanges with NK
June 12, 2009, 2:40 pm
Filed under: China, China-Japan, China-Korea, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, Korea

China halted its official exchanges with North Korea after its second nuclear test. The articles below also introduce responses from other countries such as South Korea, Japan, and the United States:
SKorean nuclear envoy says he will visit China, AFP, June 9, 2009

‘An Act of State Terrorism By North Korea’, Fox News, June 9, 2009

China pressed on N.Korea, Straits Times, June 7, 2009

Hatoyama, Lee agree China key in North U.N. resolution, Japan Times, June 6, 2009

China’s ties with North Korea fraying, JoongAng Daily, June 6, 2009

Japan plans missile early warning system, Reuters, June 2, 2009

China Suspends North Korea Exchanges, Yonhap Reports (Update1), Bloomberg, June 1, 2009

The power of presidential restraint, Boston Globe, June 1, 2009

North Korea’s Point of View, Seoul Times, June 2009

The Japanese Skeleton In Kim’s Closet, Forbes, May 31, 2009

Gates Looks to Tougher Approach on North Korea, May 30, 2009



Reactions to N-korea’s second nuclear experiment
June 1, 2009, 4:07 pm
Filed under: China, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, Korea

The articles below show varying reactions from the US, CHina, South Korea, and Japan to North Korea’s second nuclear experiment:

Bruce Cumings: Latest North Korea Provocations Stem from Missed US Opportunities for Demilitarization, Ddemocracy Now!, May 29, 2009

Squeeze Pyongyang gently, Japan Times, June 1, 2009

Why We Know North Korea Is Bluffing, Fox News, May 29, 2009

North Korea’s nuclear test puts China in a tight spot, Guardian, May 29, 2009

Understanding China’s Approach to North Korea, Huffington Post, May 29, 2009

U.S. grapples with idea of permanent nuclear N.Korea, Reuters, May 29, 2009

Why China Won’t Do More With North Korea, Washington Post, May 2009

Facing Down North Korea With Weak Words, CBS, May 27, 2009

Bolton: We Need to Apply More Pressure to North Korea’s Regime, Fox News, May 27, 2009

Backgrounder: History of DPRK nuclear issue, People’s Daily Online, May 26, 2009

China ‘resolutely opposed’ to NKorean nuke test, Associated Press, May 25, 2009

JUDITH MILLER: The Key to Reining In North Korea? It’s China, Stupid…, Fox News, May 25, 2009

North Korea may test missile, says Japan, Gulf Times, May 22, 2009

Hiraoka calls for nuke-free zones, Japan Times, May 21, 2009

Hisahiko Okazaki: The Perry Approach to Pyongyang, Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2009