Despite witnessing phenomenal economic growth and the spread of democratization in recent decades, as well as impressive intra-regional exchanges and interactions in the economic and cultural spheres, the Northeast Asian region still experience wounds from past wrongs that were committed in times of colonialism, war and dictatorship. Overcoming these historical animosities has become one of the most pressing issues of the future for the region. Of all the countries in the Northeast Asia region coping with this historical injustice, the Republic of Korea stands out as both a victim and an aggressor. Being a nation that has addressed issues of both internal and external injustice, Korea becomes the focus of this volume.
Using examples of injustice from the colonial and the Second World War period, the Korean civil War, the current stage of Korean transitional justice and broader regional and global perspectives, the book concludes with a section on forward-looking approaches for arriving at reconciliation in the Asian region. This is a significant book that will be of huge interest to anyone studying East Asian politics, history or society.
'This volume should inspire stimulating discussions in university courses and it is highly reccomended to anyone interested in modern East Asia.' - Guy Podoler, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 80, No. 3, Fall 2007
Introduction Part 1: Coming to Terms with the Darker Past in Korea Section 1: The Counter-Narratives and Voices of World War II: An Update 1. The Korean "Comfort Women" Tragedy as Structural Violence 2. The Resignification of the "Comfort Women" through NGO Trials 3. The Politics of Remembrance: The Case of Korean Forced Laborers in World War II Section 2: Democratization and Domestic Historical Injustice 4. The War against the "Enemy Within": Hidden Massacres in the Early Stages of the Korean War 5. Justice Incomplete: The Remedies for the Victims of Jeju April Third Incidents 6. From Seoul to Saigon: Gook Meets Charlie Part 2: Toward a Northeast Asian Approach to Historical Injustice? Section 3: Korean Experience in Comparative Perspective 7. The Aesthetic Construction of Ethnic Nationalism: War Memorial Museums in Korea and Japan 8. Difficult Neighbors: Japan and North Korea 9. Dynamics of Denial: Responses to Past Atrocities in Germany, Turkey, and Japan Section 4: Reconciliation and Regional Cooperation 10. A Strong State, Weak Civil Society and Cold War Geopolitics: Why Japan Lags behind Europe in Confronting a Negative Past 11. Pop Culture, Public Memory and Korean-Japanese Relations 12. Economic Integration and Reconciliation in Northeast Asia: Possibilities and Limitations Epilogue: Lessons and Future