About the series: The year 2005 marked the 60th anniversary of the end of Pacific War and Japan's unconditional surrender. Post-war Japan has embraced a new constitution that renounced war as a right of the nation and for the past six decades pursued economic growth under democratic government. Ironically, the years leading to this anniversary were filled with various disputes over territorial and historical issues with China and Korea and questions from neighboring countries whether Japanese society is shifting towards the right. Triggered by Prime Minister Koizumi's official visits to Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines "A" class war criminals, anti-Japan sentiment is widely spreading among its neighboring countries, accompanied by strong nationalism, and is posing a potential threat to the political stability of the region.
This colloquium series will focus on Japan's relationship with China and Korea and the historical controversies that are central to their deteriorating political relationship. The series speakers will address the following questions: What are the historical roots of these controversies? How did post-war Japanese foreign policy effect and was effected by Japan's handling of its militaristic past? What is the nature of domestic politics of these three countries that politicizes these historical issues and influences their responses to one another?
Each of the speakers in this series has been asked to address a specific aspect of Japan's relations. Professor Kimura will address the post-war political relationship between Japan and Korea.