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PacNet #34A – Japan should apologize again to South Korea

On Aug. 15, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro issued a statement, part of which included yet another apology to China and Korea. On the same day, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun celebrated his country’s liberation from Japanese rule and refrained from making explicit reference to Japan’s colonialism as he did in the last two years. China mobilized its police forces to guard against anti-Japanese riots, avoiding the widespread demonstrations that occurred earlier this year. While behind-the-scenes diplomacy has put a temporary stop to the downward spiral of Japan’s relations with its neighbors, the explosive nature of the “history” problem continues to strain Japan’s relations with both countries.