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Due to the fact that many comfort women survivors and activist groups viewed the agreement as an insincere attempt at an apology, the agreement negotiations fell through. It must be emphasized that although the sufferings of the survivors can never be truly atoned for, an accurate and objective historical account as well as transparent discourse is the necessary first step before attempting reparations. The narrative of Korean comfort women was able to come to light due to the shifting social norms and the creation of memorials in public space which gave a platform for survivors to speak out and allows them to continue doing so.

As a result of the shift in discourse, there is a need for both South Korea and Japan to confront their histories and evolving identities as nations, which will dictate the relationship between the two in addition to the roles each will play in the East Asian political sphere. Japan must refrain from calling for the destruction of these monuments due to their historical and symbolic significance if its goal is to signal a willingness to engage with multiple historical perspectives and acknowledge the past.

Ultimately, the testimony of comfort women survivors and the perpetual presence of memorial statues reveal the tension between historical narratives and discourse, as well as the power of collective memory to exhibit ongoing traumas of colonialism. It is especially important to recognize that cooperation between Korea and Japan is necessary to find the balance between memorializing past events and looking towards the future as both occupy seats of power in East Asia.

The author would like to thank Dr. Bemma, Adam. September 07, Koreans think 'comfort women' issue unresolved. July 27, March 03, Jun, Kwanwoo, and Martin, Alexander. December 28, Kumagai, Naoko, and Noble, David. The comfort women: historical, political, legal and moral perspectives. Tokyo: International House of Japan, Onishi, Norimitsu. April 24, Orreill, Kirsten. McCurry, Justin. August 16, Neal, Arthur G. Armonk, N. Y: Sharpe, Min, Pyong Gap. Schellstede, Sangmie Choi.

Edited by Soon Mi Yu. Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Woman. Directed by Dai Sil Kim-Gibson. By Donald Sur. Kirsten Orreill. Ramon H. Myers and Mark R. Peattie Princeton: Princeton University Press, , Seoul, Kumagai Naoko and David Noble. March 31, December 22, Jun Kwanwoo and Alexander Martin. Pyong Gap Min. Kim, A. Kim, Ann W. KIM, A. Inquiries Journal [Online], The newsletter highlights recent selections from the journal and useful tips from our blog. Inquiries Journal provides undergraduate and graduate students around the world a platform for the wide dissemination of academic work over a range of core disciplines.

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Representing the work of students from hundreds of institutions around the globe, Inquiries Journal 's large database of academic articles is completely free. Learn more Blog Submit. Disclaimer: content on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Moreover, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Inquiries Journal or Student Pulse, its owners, staff, contributors, or affiliates. Forgot password? By Ann W. Kim , Vol. Cite References Print. Endnotes 1.

Comfort Women Speak 9. Comfort Women Speak, Sangmie Choi Schellstede. Ann W. From the Inquiries Journal Blog. Soft Power Deployment on the Korean Peninsula. Monthly Newsletter Signup The newsletter highlights recent selections from the journal and useful tips from our blog. Follow us to get updates from Inquiries Journal in your daily feed. I argue that Chairman Mao Zedong was in a domain of loss both domestically and internationally when the U.

Command crossed the 38 Parallel and Chinese intervention in Korea in October continued a period of hideous violence and death in China's history. Between and , around Despite this terrible loss of life, exactly one year after the founding of the People It survived the Korean War, supported by American military assistance. It successfully transitioned to democracy after nearly 40 years of authoritarian government. South Korea now boasts a strong economy that joined the trillion-dollar The decades to come witnessed Japan grow at an unprecedented rate, with its economy reaching heights that were unseen in Asia.

In particular, the hugely Follow SP. Latest in Anthropology Medical Anthropology. The study of DNA and genetics has always been a large mystery to many scientists. Scientists and researchers are constantly Cultural Antropology. Published by Clocks and Clouds. In Jordan, a state renowned for medical tourism, all physicians are proficient in English because medical classes are taught in English, indicating that English, rather than Jordan's official language of Arabic, is the prestige language of Jordanian Language Policy.

The sheer number of distinct dialects present within the country has long complicated Chinese language standardization and language policy. Sporting mega-events in Rio de Janeiro, including the World Cup and the upcoming Olympics, employ particular tactics of spatio-temporal scale-making to produce a utopic atmosphere of global camaraderie, modern urban development, and sporting Log In Sign Up. Patryk Wawrzynski. And how we may explain why two influential neighbors are more interested in symbolic actions then real and profitable cooperation?

These two questions were asked when — in August — the international community witnessed an unexpected eruption of Chinese- Japanese conflict over Senkaku Islands. Questions, which are fundamental for understanding why East Asia is still so far from deepened — even economic — integration. Political science aim at finding rational explanation of political phenomena. Most academics believe that all states' actions should be considered as results of balanced interpretation of national interests, material conditions, and a range of possible influence.

Of course, we can agree that the possession of oil-bearing archipelago may be recognize as an interest of both states: Japan and People's Republic of China PRC. We can also agree that this case may be significant for both governments. But how it is comparable with value of regional stability and potential benefits from good neighborliness?

Once again: small, unsettled, and oil-bearing islands against deepening of the regional integration. Moreover, we should remember that the state of relations between China and Japan influences not only East Asian affairs. We consider the case of two powerful states, two influential industrial powers, and two pillars of current global economics. Their relations seem to be ones of the most important bilateral contacts in the whole international politics. And mass protests in few Chinese cities in August showed that there are still far from normality, without which East Asia will continue to be prospective, not actual, center of global politics.

To answer these two questions we need to agree that the assumption that political decisions are based on rational premises is not always adequate. This assumption fails when we consider the case of Senkaku Islands. We need a hypothesis which will enable understanding why — in some cases — political or economic interests are less important then symbolic actions. And this article tries to present one considering wider perspective of East Asian cooperation in the threshold of 21st Century. When I observed course of actions during last Chinese- Japanese conflict, I have noticed that all of current, sudden actions originate from different understanding of the Past.

Beijing recognizes Japanese territorial demands as a return of imperialist politics and dominance desire, while Tokyo believes that American occupation and enforced state identity after the Second World War were a sufficient penance for war crimes a redemption. These two perspectives are too opposing to enable deepening cooperation, even if it would be profitable.

Arguing over history, memory and politics | The Japan Times

Politics of memory and cooperation in East Asia: the remembrance of the Second World War and Chinese-Japanese Relations [page ] As a researcher of politics of memory, at once, I payed special attention on the role of state's narrating the Past and noticed that current, Chinese-Japanese conflict is one of memory wars1, that have taken place after the Second World War and more then once influenced bilateral and multilateral relations; memory wars which may prevail over rational understanding of national interests.

We may recognize this political and cultural phenomenon as an answer for both questions. Sometimes, the remembrance seems to be more important then a realization of profitable cooperation, as it is in the case of relations between China and Japan. I assume that it is caused by the role of memory as a constitution of the national identity. Its aim is not to force an enemy into accepting state's interests, its aim is to impose own vision of the Past, own narrations, and own Truth. This struggle confirms authenticity of the identity, especially if a national community still 1 I understand memory wars as a metaphor which describes conflicts between states, which refer to the cultural memory and narrating the Past.

It has its sources in three inspirations: a Kirk Savage's metaphor of monument wars; b the usage of this category in the psychological debate over repressed memories; and c the usage of this metaphor in Alan Dein's BBC documentary presenting discourse between official narrations and oral history.

However, still it is more metaphor then theoretical concept. See: K.


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Collective Memory and Cultural Identity. Politics of memory and cooperation in East Asia: the remembrance of the Second World War and Chinese-Japanese Relations [page ] deals with a political phenomenon, which I called the post-totalitarian trauma.

The axis of the reflection are — of course — Chinese-Japanese relations, however it will also consider memory wars as a phenomenon which influence the whole region. The article is less a research study then a theoretical investigation, but it may be also recognized as a review of present state of arts and a comparative study of previously accomplished research projects.

Remembrance of Japanese war crimes Why the future of a small archipelago may be a reason for serious crisis in relations between two influential and powerful states? I began these considerations with this question to present oddity of events in August Events which scale was incoherent with the significance of the problem. But in this case, the oddity is only apparent. We may ask ourselves: would it be different if Germany decided to occupy some small islands to which France lay claims?

Even if both states have an experience of close cooperation during last decades. Martyrdom and Community?

Arguing over history, memory and politics

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Challenges in Politics and Society ed. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Publishing, p. Politics of memory and cooperation in East Asia: the remembrance of the Second World War and Chinese-Japanese Relations [page ] When we consider historical conditions of Chinese-Japanese relations and sore experience of the Second World War, the emotional and passionate reaction does not seem to be so unexpected.

Hess investigating the usage of politics of memory in Chinese foreign policy noticed that the construction of China as a victim6 plays a significant role as a justification of domestic and international goals. The Second World War and the Japanese occupation is only an episode of the series of events, which established the century of humiliation bainian guochi during which the nation was victimized by imperialist powers.

And it is not only an useful political argument enabling to influence former imperialist states, but also a vivid content of current Chinese identity, which induces understanding of all harmful actions of other states as consciously aimed at Chinese government and the nation. Hess stated: Today, of course, revolutionary goals and methods of the Mao years have been stripped away, but the use of history to construct an image of China as victim remains.

It has in fact grown in importance as many of the cornerstones of the state's legitimacy have crumbled. It continues to serves the PRC state in several key ways. It remains 5 R. Politics of memory and cooperation in East Asia: the remembrance of the Second World War and Chinese-Japanese Relations [page ] a valuable tool used by the state to shape popular conceptions of China's place in the world, and frames key events […] within the context of Chinese nationalism, of which the victim narrative is the main component.

History remains at the centre of the tension between the two powers. Chinese authorities convinced that the normalization is impossible without a change of Japanese attitude, alike the European integration would be impossible without a total transformation of German identity after the Second World War; it will not happen if Japanese officials will still visit Yasukuni shrine, restrain from apologizing Chinese people for war atrocities, narrate untruth about the Second World War in school textbooks, or deny the significance of events alike the Nanjing Massacre, which are the constitution of contemporary Chinese victimhood and national identity.

Without this change, still the History may be used by Beijing against closer cooperation with Tokyo and deepening a real regional integration. Keeping the past alive. The use of history in China's foreign relations [in:] Handbook of China's International Relations ed. London — New York: Routledge, p.

See also: P. Berkeley: University of California Press; and S. New York: Oxford University Press. The Battle for China's Past. Mao and the Cultural Revolution. London — Ann Arbor: Pluto Press. Litzinger noticed, included re-establishment of social rituals and re- organization of symbolic landscape. Considering his paper, we are able to notice that the role of the remembrance of Japanese atrocities is being: a the substantiation of the need of modernization as a reconstruction of the Chinese Power; and b the symbolic junction between the Past and the Present, the remembered sign of the History, and the symbol of continuation.

He noticed that Chinese political references to the Past aim at binding a group together and constant constructing the Nation. Through the nationwide education campaign, Beijing has creatively used history education as an instrument for the glorification of the party, for the consolidation of the PRC's national identity, and for the justification of the political system of the CCP's [Chinese Communist Party's] one party rule.

Politics of memory and cooperation in East Asia: the remembrance of the Second World War and Chinese-Japanese Relations [page ] But not only the West is constructed as an oppressor of the Chinese people. Alike the European Powers in the 19th Century, Japan during the first half of the 20th Century is presented as the state, which aimed at an enslavement of China and a colonial domination.

Wang considered this depiction of Chinese struggle against aggressors and stated that: The major foci of this campaign are educating Chinese people, especially the young people, about China's humiliating experience in the face of Western and Japanese incursion, as well as explaining how the CCP-led revolution changed China's fate and won national independence. National humiliation thus was revived in the service of patriotic education12 Wang unequivocally stated that currently Chinese politicians use narrating the Past to serve present politics.

He noticed that previous class- struggle narrative, which considered both Chinese people and Japanese workers and peasants as oppressed by militarist and capitalist authorities, and established a possibility of a reconciliation, was replaced by the patriotic narrative, which presents the Second World War in East Asia as a conflict between the aggressor Japanese nation and repressed nations Chinese people, Koreans, and others.

In other words, the narration about the ultimate end of the national humiliation Maoist politics of memory was replaced by the narration about constant threat of foreign domination, which may be avoided only if the Communist Party's rule will last current Chinese politics of memory. This turn causes strengthening a need of remembering Japanese war crimes during the War as a justification of 12 Ibidem, p.

Politics of memory and cooperation in East Asia: the remembrance of the Second World War and Chinese-Japanese Relations [page ] the present state of Chinese political system. It also hampers Chinese- Japanese reconciliation. Even more, it presented possible effects of the clash of Chinese victimhood narrations and Japanese new martyrdom. Wang mentioned mass protests in , when Chinese people objected to whitewashing Japan's militarist past, and which resulted in an intensification of nationalist mood in China.

He called Francis Fukuyama's opinion, who had stated that a generational change in East Asian politics intensifies historical conflicts; in Japan the great influence has a group which discontinue recognizing Japan's war responsibility as a main factor of state's identity, while the generation of patriotic education more and more influences Chinese politics.

As a result, both sides persist to own new nationalism and hard line politics of memory. He emphasized the role of the remembrance of the Nanjing Massacre as a major determinant of Chinese collective memory. Mitter presented all commemorative actions as a representation of an essential dichotomy of Beijing's politics of memory — images of China as a victim of Japanese atrocities and China as a great power which is capable of protection own people from consecutive humiliation.

As a result, mythologizing of Japanese devil soldiers is a cultural construction which enables the national unity under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party and the maintenance of preferred social attitudes and values.

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See also: F. I agree with Mitter, who stated that the dichotomy of being a victim and being a hero victor is not a unique one. Its universal influence is not aforethought or stimulated by state's authorities. Its commonness is a cultural fact. The Nanjing Massacre is the symbol of Japanese atrocities, and its political usage is secondary to the commonness. Jungmin Seo investigated the remembrance of the Comfort Women and the Nanjing Massacre in contemporary China and Korea, and he noticed that: the absence of the Nanjing Massacre in Mao's writings and government documents may easily prove the argument that the memories of the Nanjing Massacre were suppressed by the new socialist Chinese state and re-vitalized by the advent of nationalism in post-reform China.

The majority of Chinese nationalism specialists argue the ideological vacuum created by the market transition forced Chinese leaders to mobilize nationalism as a cohesive ruling ideology.

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We may even state that it is a constitution of post-Maoist national identity, the identity of those who were are present in other states. However, only in Chinese version of this narration, the end of the war is also the end of the century of national humiliation. See: Ibidem, p. See also: T. Chinese Nationalism and American Policy. Chinese Realpolitik. New York: Cambridge University Press.


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Politics of memory and cooperation in East Asia: the remembrance of the Second World War and Chinese-Japanese Relations [page ] humiliated and victimized, but now are enough powerful to protect themselves. So, the remembrance of Japanese war crimes is not only a narration of politics of memory, it is also a key to understand contemporary Chinese social attitudes and values, as well as China's politics. Even if current Japan's identity in international politics is far from the imperialist and militarist one, still Japan is a symbolic representation of foreign occupation, national humiliation, and war atrocities.

As long as this depiction will be actual in Chinese society the closer cooperation with the enemy and the oppressor will be nearly impossible. Even if this hard line politics of memory and foreign policy seem to be against the national interest of the People's Republic of China; because, always the unanimity of the identity is more important than other social or political benefits. Japanese martyrdom However, not only nations victimized by Japanese occupation authorities and military units demands to be commonly recognized as victims of the Second World War.

Also Japaneses want to be seen as those who suffered during the war and were victimized by Americans, especially by atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in These acts re-wrote their identity. They are — in their current narrations — not those who occupied and repressed, but those who were occupied and repressed by foreign power.

Japanese politics of memory presents own nation not as a defeated wrongdoer, but as a victim of an unprecedented aggression. Vera L. Zolberg presented this turn in her paper about controversies and discussions over the Hiroshima Exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D. The conception of the exhibition was a subject of two-years-long debate, in which also Tokyo and Japanese community in the United States took part.