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.

Weekly Update – July 10

John Woo will remain in China for his next film on WWII, which takes a theme in the American volunteers recruited to aid the Chinese Air Force prior to the US participation in WWII; Veterans of the Korean War will be special guests during opening ceremonies for the Great Texas Balloon Race this year; Japan received the first Chinese individual tourist after change in its law; Taiwan is ready to receive more investment from China.

John Woo Divebombs Into WWII Again With ‘Flying Tiger Heroes’, MTV Blog, July 6, 2009

Balloon Race honors Korean War veterans,, July 3, 2009

Taiwan Opens 100 Industries to Chinese Investment (Update2), Bloomberg, June 30, 2009

First individual Chinese tourists visit Japan, AFP, July 8, 2009

WWII Veteran Back to China from Burma, Taiwan-China Issue
June 12, 2009, 2:41 pm
Filed under: China, Remainder, Territorial Disputes

Articles below discuss return of WWII veterans from Burma to China, Taiwanese President Mao’s potential meeting with Chinese President Hu, and Chinese businessmen’s visit at Taiwan:

WWII Veterans Return from Burma after 67 Years, China Degital Times, May 31, 2009

Taiwan president may meet China’s Hu – paper, Malaysia Star, June 11, 2009

China sends large group to buy Taiwanese goods, Associated Press, May 31, 2009

Economic Ties Tightened between China and Taiwan
June 1, 2009, 3:58 pm
Filed under: China, Territorial Disputes

The following articles describe recent initiatives to tighten the bilateral financial relationship betweeen China and Taiwan from both sides of the coast:

Chinese President Meets Leader of Taiwanese Party, New York Times, May 26, 2009

Taiwan-China business ties grow as barriers fall, AP, March 22, 2009

Ma Calls on China to Remove Missiles, Vows Closer Economic Ties, Bloomberg, May 20, 2009

Investment in Taiwan urged , StraitsTimes, May 18, 2009

Building Bridges to China, Time, May 14, 2009

Weekly Update – May 15
June 1, 2009, 3:50 pm
Filed under: China, China-Korea, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Korea, Territorial Disputes

MFAH will Present Most Comprehensive US Exhibition of Korean Photography,, May 15, 2009

Contemporary Chinese Youth and the State, The Journal of Asian Studies, May 2009

Pentagon worker charged with leaking info to China, Associated Press, May 13, 2009

Understanding China’s “Angry Youth”, The China Beat, May 13, 2009

Building Bridges to China, Time, May 14, 2009

Shanghai Expo opportunity to deepen ties between China, S Korea, Xinhua, May 14, 2009

Does N. Korea’s Taepodong-2 Ballistic Missile Pose a Serious Threat?, Voice of America, May 14, 2009

Illegality of Annexation Treaty, The Korea Times, May 14, 2009

Green tea is more than a way of life in South Korea, Los Angels Times, May 13, 2009

China asserts sea border claims, BBC, May 13, 2009

Japanese Rep’s statement upsets PRC and Taiwan
May 14, 2009, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Museums/Memorials, Territorial Disputes

Masaki Saito, Japan’s representative for Taiwan, made a remark on May 1 that Taiwan’s status was still unclear, attracting criticism from both sides of the Strait. The six articles at the bottom of the links below show responses from PRC/Taiwan. Other articles discuss most recent developments between PRC and Taiwan including their cooperation in the financial market and Taiwan’s creation of a replica of the ship of Ming Dynasty hero.

Promoting a ‘two China’ policy, Taipei Times, May 10, 2009

Taiwan, China May Allow Cross-Trading of Stocks, Bloomberg, May 7, 2009

Replica of Ming Dynasty ship looks to retrace ancient sea routes, Taiwan News, May 7, 2009

Who is concocting ‘Taiwan Question’?, People’s Daily Online, May 6, 2009

China Rages over Japanese Comments on Taiwan, Bridging the Straits, May 5, 2009

MOFA will not ask Japan to recall its representative: vice FM, China Post, May 5, 2009

Gov’t Rebuts Japanese Chief Representative’s “Taiwan’s Status Undetermined” Remarks, Kuomintang News Network, May 4, 2009

Taiwan lodges protest with Japan’s top representative over remarks, Japan Today, May 2, 2009

Taiwan’s top China negotiator tenders resignation, AFP, March 5, 2009