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PacNet #45A – PRC-Japan Relations: Will an Apology Bring Reconciliation?

Beijing has demanded that Japan issue a detailed, specific written apology for its past aggression against China when President Jiang Zemin visits Japan on November 25-30. China is reportedly seeking “a clear and accurate picture” of past transgressions such as was contained in the “heartfelt apology” provided to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung during his visit to Japan last month. (In that statement, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi “humbly accepted the historical fact that Japan’s colonial rule inflicted incalculable damage and pain on the Korean people.”) Obuchi has given every indication that Japan will provide a similar apology to Beijing . . . as well it should.