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Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Common History

Change has come to Japan.

At long last, a Japanese Foreign Minister called for a shared vision of history between Japan, China, and Korea, materialized in a common textbook.

Katsuya Okada confirms the hopes raised by Hatoyama's election, and revives the courageous position of former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, who apologied for "damage and suffering" under colonial rule, called for an end to nationalism, and urged fellow Japanese citizens to face their own past.

As I wrote
earlier, "it's up to the Japanese people to decide : allow those warmongers to set the diplomatic agenda and rewrite textbooks for the next generations, or continue on their peaceful path. But to ensure the latter choice, they must at last face the sometimes troubled history of their beautiful country."

The time has come to set the record straight, and I'm sure Korea and China can work out something great together in a very near future (this noble announcement came ahead of a meeting between Lee Myung-bak and Yukio Hatoyama).

I'm not sure China will join the effort all the way : the regime is too busy working on its own revisionist versions. English scholars recently mocked at China's "Hanschluss" attempt on Goguryeo civilization : it would be as if England claimed to have created the German civilization.

The potential hurdles of these "three/four-party talks" shouldn't deter Korea and Japan to work on their common history as soon as possible, silencing nationalists from all sides.

This should also convince LEE to maintain his country's vital effort in coping with its own troubled past (see "
President Lee, please keep digging") : Korea needs its Truth and Reconciliation Commission more than ever.
Seoul Village 2009

ADDENDUM : this post was later published under the title "Japan may face its history" in JoongAng Ilbo (20091012)

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