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Meeting Japanese Remorse with Chinese AcceptanceMa Licheng

Chinese commentator Ma Licheng considers the various factors that shaped Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s statement marking the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II and calls for China to be more open-minded in its response to Abe’s words.
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Seoul’s Last-Minute Campaign to Derail Japan’s World Heritage BidKimura Kan

The dispute between Japan and South Korea regarding historical perceptions became the source of a major tussle over the bid for inclusion of the “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution” in the World Heritage List. The sites were added to the list, but meanwhile Seoul won international attention for its position on Japan’s wartime conscription of Korean laborers.
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Abe Opens a Door with Carefully Crafted War Anniversary StatementDaniel Sneider

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s August 14 statement should be judged, in my view, against two important criteria: whether it shows a genuine effort to reflect upon and draw lessons from Japan’s wartime past; and whether it contributes to the improvement of relations in Northeast Asia and creates opportunities for reconciliation between Japan and China and Korea. The statement advances both of those go…
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Timeline for June 2015

A passenger commits suicide by setting himself on fire on the Shinkansen, the Japan Pension Service suffers a massive data leak, and Japan and South Korea mark 50 years since the normalization of diplomatic relations. These are the main news stories for Japan in June 2015.
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Looking Ahead to the 2015 Round of Historical AnniversariesKawashima Shin

Years that end in 5 have been the occasion of many key events in Japan’s modern history. Just to cite a few prominent examples, the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed in 1895, ending the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95. Ten years later, in 1905, the Russo-Japanese war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth. World War II ended with Japan’s defeat in 1945. In 1955, the Liberal Democratic Pa…
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President Park and the “Sankei Shimbun”: Plenty of Blame to Go AroundŌishi Yutaka

South Korea’s indictment of a Sankei Shimbun reporter on charges of defaming President Park Geun-hye has drawn sharp international criticism from the standpoint of freedom of the press. Media expert Ōishi Yutaka offers a fresh perspective on the incident, exploring the political context and raising serious questions of journalistic responsibility.
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APEC Summit in Beijing Brings Minor Thaw to Japan-China Relations

The first formal talks between Japanese and Chinese leaders in two and a half years took place on the sidelines of this month’s APEC summit in Beijing. Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and President Xi Jinping spoke for the first time since assuming leadership, marking an upturn for frosty bilateral relations. This article summarizes the key points of the latest summit and the 25-year history of APEC.
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Timeline for October 2014

Three Japan-born researchers win the Nobel Prize in Physics, a Japanese journalist is indicted for defamation in Seoul, and two newly appointed female cabinet ministers resign. An overview of the key news stories for October 2014.
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Chilling Changes in the Japan–South Korea RelationshipRoh Daniel

“In 10 years, even the rivers and mountains change.” This saying is deeply imprinted on the Korean psyche. If we accept this idea, then perhaps we have no call to rue the changes that have taken place in the post–World War II relationship between Japan and Korea. After all, the world of human affairs is even more variable than the world of nature. Half a century has passed since the normalization …
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Yasukuni Shrine: the Basics

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine on December 26, 2013, was the first by a Japanese leader for seven years and drew fierce criticism from China and South Korea. What started as a place to honor those who fell while fighting the Tokugawa shogunate has become a center of controversy in East Asian relations. This article presents the key historical, religious, and political information regarding the shrine.
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