Public Lecture Presentation Slides (11.27.2012)

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Thomas Berger: History, Territory and Japan’s Diplomatic Isolation in East Asia

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Public Lecture Presentation Slides (11.27.2012)

  1. 1. History, Territory and Japan’sgrowing isolation in East Asia Thomas U Berger Associate Professor Department of International relations Boston University For Presentation at Temple University, Tokyo November 27, 2012
  2. 2. The Basic Problem• Despite: A) growing regional interdependence, and B) a military balance that strongly favors theUS and its alliesWe have growing regional acrimony, fueled bytensions over history and minor territorial issuesWhy?
  3. 3. A vigorous Dispute over historical commemoration
  4. 4. and the portrayal of history
  5. 5. Tensions spill over into maritime disputes with ChinaThe 2010 Trawler Incident
  6. 6. and Korea…
  7. 7. …with Russia in the mix as well
  8. 8. The intensity has increased
  9. 9. Efforts to re-establish harmony seem to not meet with enduring success Premier Wen Jiao Bao in Yoyogi Park, May 31, 2010
  10. 10. Three Questions:• What is the basis of the ways countries think about history and territory (the Official Narrative)?• When and why do differing historical narratives become the source of inter-state conflict?• What – if anything – can be done about it?
  11. 11. Forces shaping the Official Narrative• Historical Determinist – historical memory based on individual experiences• Instrumentalist – historical memory manipulated by cynical elites for their own gain• Culturalist – historical memory part of the larger political culture of a society• Combination of the above
  12. 12. Historical Determinism• Powerful experiences can create powerful memories• Memories can be suppressed both by individuals or society, but they often resurface, even after many decades• Individuals and groups press to have their memories reflected in the official narrative
  13. 13. The Carriers of Memory Atomic Bomb survivor
  14. 14. Instrumentalism• Politicians and other elites manipulate official narrative to promote their own agendas• The balance of power between politicians and interest groups determines the official narrative
  15. 15. The Political Uses of History Nazi Era Postcard
  16. 16. Culturalism• The interpretation of events and interest are central elements of a society’s political culture• Each generation is socialized with a particular historical narrative – through education, movies, plays, etc.• Over time, the historical narrative evolves as each generation reinterprets events in its own way• The existing historical narrative set the boundarie for the kind of historical narrative a state can adopt
  17. 17. Cultural Vectors of Memory – novels plays, movies and popular history
  18. 18. The History of the History issue in Asia• 1945-1951 – Initial Settlement• 1951-1982 – Successful Japanese damage control• 1982 – 1992 – the beginning of the “history issue”• 1992-2002 – era of apology diplomacy• 2002 –Deadlock over history – apology fatigue
  19. 19. Period 1 - Initial Settlement• The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal• Reverse Course in US occupation policy• Ascent of the Conservative LDP in Japan• The Treaty of San Francisco –Article 11 – Japan accepts the IMTFE VerdictArticles 14-21 – limited reparationsregime, Western Allies give up further claims• Ambiguous Boundaries created
  20. 20. Trial and RehabilitationThe International Military Tribunal in the The Treaty of San Francisco signedFar East – 1946-1948 November 1951-
  21. 21. Ambiguous Boundaries left open
  22. 22. Period 2 - 1951-1978 Successful Japanese Damage Control• Japan chooses to focus on damage control• Taiwan and South Korea unsuccessfully push for compensation and concessions by Japan• Japan signs normalization treaties with all major Asian nations except the DPRK 1952 Taiwan 1965 South Korea 1978 The PRC
  23. 23. Things were more orderly in Beijing
  24. 24. Reasons for First Equilibrium• Politics in Command - Instrumental factors predominate historical memory and cultural discourse• PRC, ROK, Taiwan all authoritarian states• The Left in Japan focuses on Japanese victimization• Japanese conservatives not interested in pursuing “War Responsibility”
  25. 25. Period III – History Issue Resurfaces• 1982 – The First textbook Controversy• New MOE guidelines on textbooks• Nakasone apology in Korea• 1985 – Nakasone visits Yasukuni
  26. 26. Drivers for the Emergence of the History Problem• Strong, historically rooted Anti-Japanese discourse in China and Korea (Cultural discourse)• Pluralization allows victims groups to come to the fore (Historical memory)• Increased interdependence of Asian countries – First strategic (Cold war) – Then economic• Use of human rights norms by victims groups
  27. 27. The Birth of Modern Chinese and Korean NationalismThe March 1rst, 1919 Movement in Korea
  28. 28. Korea – Colonial Modernity – authoritarianism made in JapanPark Cheung Hee – as an officer in the Japanese Imperial Army, ca. 1944and as President of the Republic of Korea
  29. 29. Replacing Mao with “Patriotic Education”
  30. 30. Period IV – Groping for Reconciliation• 1991 - Kaifu in Singapore – history key to a more active role in Asia• 1992 – Emperor visits China• 1993 – Kono statement on the Comfort Women• 1995 – Asian Women’s Fund Murayama Statement• 1998 – Kim Dae Jung-Obuchi Keizo Summit• 2002 – Korea-Japan host the World Cup
  31. 31. Limited Reconciliation with Korea
  32. 32. Develop into powerful Narratives of Victimization
  33. 33. Japan also feels victimized
  34. 34. Period IV – Deadlock over history• 2001-2006 Under Koizumi tensions flare up• Collapse of territorial negotiations with Russia• Korean-Japanese reconciliation founders under Lee Myun Bak• Anti-Japanese riots in 2005 in China• Japanese Apology fatigue• Escalates into territorial disputes
  35. 35. Reasons for Deadlock• Japanese conservative backlash and “apology fatigue”• Lack of active support for reconciliation from the Korean government• Lack of interest in reconciliation by the Chinese government• Temptation to utilize popular sentiments for domestic political agenda• Inability of governments (China, Korea and Japan) to re-establish control over the diplomatic agenda
  36. 36. China’s diminishing leaders
  37. 37. Aggressively Patriotic Sentiments Translation: Even if the whole of China is covered with tombs, [we] must kill all Japanese; even if no grass grows in China, we must recover Diaoyudao [the Senkakus]
  38. 38. Sentiments are hard to control
  39. 39. In Japan as well populist sentiments intrude on Foreign Policy
  40. 40. Politicians can use for their own agendas
  41. 41. Bottom Line – a Paradox• The broad framework of international relations – balance of power and interdependence - favors general stability• The political dynamics of the history issue – the combination of historical memory, cultural discourse and instrumental use of the issue by opportunistic politicians – creates volatility
  42. 42. Risks for Japan and the US-Japan Relationship• Japan risks diplomatic isolation in East Asia• Lack of sympathy on the part of the US – especially with regard to the Comfort women issue• Danger of accidental escalation in the Senkakus
  43. 43. US Sympathy for the Comfort Women
  44. 44. US Fears of entanglement
  45. 45. Possible Counter measures• Greater flexibility on territorial issues• Damage control on history with China/ reconciliation with Korea – if Korea is ready• CSBMs on Senkakus – when China is ready• Is this politically possible for Japan and its neighbors?

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