History and the state in postwar Japan

Authored by: Hatano Sumio

Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese History

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138815186
eBook ISBN: 9781315746678
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses on the efforts by Japan to settle problems caused by pre-1945 Japanese colonialism and aggression in Korea, China and Southeast Asia. Although reconciliation with the United States and other Western powers was achieved relatively smoothly, little was done initially to address the problems of Japanese responsibility for aggression in China or transgressions of colonialism in Korea. The chapter traces various bilateral agreements between Japan, China and Korea and other Asian countries and delves into reasons why they did not lead to full reconciliation. Noting that some progress has been made, the chapter examines factors that have prevented the achievement of reconciliation. These include disagreements about whether individuals should be eligible for compensation, visits to Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese prime ministers, the question of comfort women and provocative statements by some Japanese politicians.

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