pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #32 – History and Geo-strategy in East Asia

Over the past 100 years, Northeast Asia has been plagued with great power rivalry and conflict. Today this unhappy history, and the centrality of Japan’s militaristic past to this history, continues to be an issue. The current disagreements between Japan and both Korea and China over its revisionist history text book continue to unsettle relations among the three East Asian neighbors. Japan’s inability to satisfactorily atone for past wrongs is an important impediment to long-term regional reconciliation, and unfortunately provides ammunition to those who would argue that Japan’s past is prologue for future militarist behavior. This is flat wrong.