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The History ProblemThe Politics of War Commemoration in East Asia$
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Hiro Saito

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824856748

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824856748.001.0001

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(p.178) Conclusion
The History Problem

Hiro Saito

University of Hawai'i Press

In conclusion, Japan, South Korea, and China have the best chance to resolve the history problem and move toward reconciliation if they reciprocate cosmopolitan commemoration. To this end, the three countries must first engage in mutual criticism of nationalist commemorations with the help of historians. Such criticism will prepare the ground for Japan to fully commemorate the suffering of South Korean and Chinese victims by confronting the real magnitude of its past wrongdoings, and for South Korea and China to reflect on their own nationalism and commemorate the war, including Japanese victimhood, from a more cosmopolitan perspective. This mutual cosmopolitan commemoration may sound too idealistic at first, but it has already emerged in East Asia through the transnational network of historians and educators. The question is whether the three countries are willing to further it.

Keywords:   Japan, South Korea, China, cosmopolitanism, reconciliation

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