The effects of Japan's apology for World War II atrocities on regional relations
Cathey, Emily A.
Miller, Alice L.
Olsen, Edward A.
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This thesis explores the impact of atrocities that Japan committed against its neighbors during and prior to World War II on Japan' relationships with its neighbors, China and the Republic of Korea. The issues of Japan's wartime treatment of Comfort Women, the atrocities of the Rape of Nanking and Japanese chemical and biological testing on humans, remain contentious with the governments and the people of China and the Republic of Korea, who feel that Japan has never fully apologized for its actions during World War II. They assert that Japan feels no remorse, as evidenced by treatment of World War II in Japanese school textbooks and by government officials visiting Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan's war dead are commemorated. The Japanese counter that they have offered sincere apologies. Consequently, this lingering animosity still affects Tokyo's efforts to achieve its foreign policy goals and expand its international influence, among other things, through seeking a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and by possibly amending Article 9 of its Constitution. Additionally, this discord affects Japan's regional relations. Japan, China and the Republic of Korea all share an interest in regional stability and their economies are inextricably linked. Nevertheless, discord over these historical questions complicates relations that are already strained by competition for natural resources and by competing sovereignty claims.
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