Whatever Happened to Historical Reconciliation between China and Japan? : Reflections over the New Millennium
With the return of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in December 2012 and his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine exactly a year later, history issues that have largely been on the backburner in Japan-China relations are once again making headlines and are likely to dominate bilateral relations. Whereas this seems to bring China-Japan relations back to Prime Minister Koizumi’s tenure at the beginning of the new millennium, the basic contours of this relationship have experienced important shifts. The continued economic trends, the escalation of territorial disputes, and the adoption of the “Asia Pivot” policy by the U.S., are bound to shape this crucial relationship between China and Japan. What does it mean now to speak of historical reconciliation in general and between China and Japan in particular? Has reconciliation become a more remote goal now that tensions between these two giant neighbors have allegedly risen to the level seen on the eve of World War I? Are there any roles for historians and the scholarly community to play at such a critical juncture? Although much more sectors must be involved to reduce the rising tension between the two countries, I argue that historians can still play a crucial role in clarifying conflicting interpretations over various disputes as well as promote a new history that transcend national boundaries in the long run.
- The Gakushuin Journal of International Studies
The Gakushuin Journal of International Studies 1 1-11, 2014-03-01