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PacNet #21 – Southeast Asians worry about Northeast Asia’s feuds

Southeast Asians have been watching the Sino-Japanese feud with deep interest and concern. Singapore issued a statement April 23 criticizing Japan’s history textbooks for approving “this strange interpretation of the Pacific War in Asia”; it also warned that “this is not in the interest of the entire region.” Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, when asked, said (after Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro’s public apologies to Asian nations in Jakarta April 22) that Japan must face up to and settle its past. Southeast Asian nations are aware that the feud between Asia’s giants has important implications for them and the future of East Asia in at least four areas.