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The History ProblemThe Politics of War Commemoration in East Asia$

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.1) Introduction
The History Problem

Hiro Saito

University of Hawai'i Press

Abstract and Keywords

In essence, East Asia’s history problem resulted from a collision of nationalist commemorations in Japan as well as in South Korea and China. To understand how the history problem evolved, this chapter draws on field theory and proposes to analyze the history problem as a field inhabited by various political actors—governments, political parties, NGOs, and so on—competing for the legitimate commemoration of the Asia-Pacific War. The Japanese government is the most important actor in this field because it has the power to define Japan’s official commemoration, the focal point of political struggles. In addition, commemorative positions of the Japanese government and other relevant actors can be identified in terms of the spectrum ranging between nationalism and cosmopolitanism—the two logics of commemoration available in the institutional environment. These actors then try to influence Japan’s official commemoration by exploiting available mobilizing structures and political opportunities.

Keywords:   Japan, South Korea, China, Asia-Pacific War, commemoration, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, politics, field theory

In March 1976, Kurihara Sadako, a poet who had survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, published “When We Say ‘Hiroshima’” (Hiroshima to iutoki).1 The poem asked A-bomb victims, as well as the Japanese people as a whole, the following: “When we say ‘Hiroshima,’ / do people answer, gently, / ‘Ah, Hiroshima’?” Instead of such gentle expression of understanding, Kurihara heard “echoes of blood and fire” and angry voices against Japan for its past wrongdoings: “In chorus, Asia’s dead and her voiceless masses / spit out the anger / of all those we made victims.” But why was the anger of those outside Japan still so resonant thirty years after the Asia-Pacific War had ended? Kurihara’s answer was that it was because the Japanese had failed to adequately remember and atone for the atrocities that they had committed in the Asia-Pacific, while dwelling on their own victimhood. She pleaded, “We first must / wash the blood / off our own hands,” so that others might eventually extend solidarity to Japan’s A-bomb victims in their common pursuit of world peace.

In spite of Kurihara’s plea, “echoes of blood and fire” continue to haunt Japan’s relations with its neighboring countries. Especially with South Korea and China, Japan has been embroiled in intense controversies over the commemoration of the Asia-Pacific War. To name but a few points of contention: interpretations of the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, apologies and compensation for foreign victims of Japan’s past aggression, prime ministers’ visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, and Japanese history textbooks. Collectively, these controversies have become known as the “history problem” (rekishi ninshiki mondai) in East Asia.

The history problem escalated to an unprecedented scale in 2005, the sixtieth anniversary of the Asia-Pacific War’s end, when Prime Minister (p.2) Koizumi Jun’ichirō visited the Yasukuni Shrine that honors war dead as well as war time leaders who were prosecuted as war criminals. In the same year, the Japanese government approved a highly nationalistic history textbook produced by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform (Atarashii Rekishi Kyōkasho wo Tsukurukai) for use in junior high schools. Responding to these events, the governments of South Korea and China strongly criticized the Japanese government, and dislike of Japan among South Koreans and Chinese spiked.2 The Chinese reaction was particularly intense, as large-scale anti-Japanese demonstrations caused damage to the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai and Japanese-owned stores in major Chinese cities.

Although the history problem temporarily calmed down after successors of Koizumi refrained from visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, it remains a formidable obstacle in Japan’s relations with South Korea and China. Opinion polls in 2014 showed that about 70 percent of South Koreans and more than 80 percent of Chinese viewed Japan negatively.3 In August 2015, the media and citizens in the two countries also made critical remarks on the statement that Prime Minister Abe Shinzō issued on the eve of the seventieth anniversary of the war’s end.4 In turn, the percentage of Japanese who did not feel friendly toward South Korea and China exceeded 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, according to the 2014 government opinion survey.5

In fact, the history problem has become potentially more explosive thanks to its intersection with the growing territorial disputes over Dokdo/Takeshima and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, amid the changing balance of power in the region.6 In August 2012, for example, South Korean president Lee Myung Bak visited Dokdo/Takeshima after the Japanese government refused to discuss compensation for South Korean victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings. Lee’s government also launched a campaign to publicize the territorial dispute as part of the history problem—Dokdo symbolizing the Korean nation victimized by Japan’s past aggression.7 Moreover, when the Japanese government proceeded to officially own the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in September 2012, the Chinese government cancelled events to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of normalization between the two countries. Chinese citizens, too, staged anti-Japanese demonstrations in major Chinese cities in mid-September, marking the anniversary of the Mukden Incident, Japan’s invasion of Manchuria, which had taken place in September 1931.8

(p.3) As evinced by these events, the territorial disputes are inextricably tied with memories of Japan’s past aggression for many South Koreans and Chinese. The disputes have also been stimulated by the rising stature of South Korea and China in international society. No longer weak, as they once were in the aftermath of the Asia-Pacific War, the two countries have become more confident and assertive toward Japan, and national pride has increased among their citizens.9 The Japanese government, in turn, has emphasized the importance of patriotism to its citizens to compensate for the economic and political stagnation since the 1990s. Most recently, Abe Shinzō’s government reinterpreted Article 9 of the constitution to expand Japan’s military capability in September 2015, stirring anxiety among people in South Korea and China who still remember Japan’s past wrongdoings. Thus, whether and how the governments and citizens of the three countries can resolve the history problem has crucial ramifications for the future of East Asia.

But how did the history problem become such a point of contention in Japan’s relations with South Korea and China? Can the three countries resolve the history problem and, if so, how? This book aims to answer these questions, crucial for the governments and citizens in East Asia whose activities are increasingly intertwined at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

The History Problem as a Collision of Nationalist Commemorations

In essence, East Asia’s history problem is a set of complexly entangled controversies over how to commemorate the Asia-Pacific War. But “the Asia-Pacific War” is itself a complicated term. Historians who adopt the term disagree whether it should refer only to the Asia-Pacific theater of World War II (1941–1945) or include the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).10 Some Japanese historians also advocate “the Fifteen-Year War” (1931–1945) as an alternative term to capture the connection between the Mukden Incident in Manchuria (1931–1933), the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Asia-Pacific war theater. Others think that “the Greater East Asia War” (1941–1945) is historically most accurate because the term was used by Japan’s war time government. Above all, people outside Japan understand the historical period differently in terms of their own sense of temporality based on histories of resistance against imperial aggression and fights for independence that preceded and followed “the Asia-Pacific War.”11

(p.4) In this book, I use “the Asia-Pacific War” in a broad sense, to refer to the Mukden Incident, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Asia-Pacific war theater. This is because when people both inside and outside Japan speak of Japan’s “past wrongdoings” (kako no ayamachi), they often refer to events that happened between 1931 and 1945, such as the invasion of Manchuria, the Nanjing Massacre, and the military “comfort women” system. Thus, using either “the Asia-Pacific War,” in the narrow sense, or “the Greater East Asia War” would leave out important points of contention from my analysis of the history problem. I also prefer the broad version of “the Asia-Pacific War” to “the Fifteen-Year War” because the former better captures the geographical scope of the history problem. Of course, “the Asia-Pacific War,” even in the broad sense, risks downplaying the South Korean perspective on the history problem that includes Japan’s colonial rule (1910–1945), but I believe that this risk is minimal so long as Japan’s war time atrocities against Koreans are fully understood as coterminous with its colonial rule.

Just as “the Asia-Pacific War” is a complicated term, the “history problem” is a complex phenomenon and hard to pin down because it consists of multiple controversies dealing with diverse issues, ranging from the Yasukuni Shrine to history textbooks, that have political dynamics and historical trajectories of their own. In this sense, it may be more appropriate to translate rekishi ninshiki mondai as “history problems” in the plural. Nevertheless, these multiple controversies are historically homologous—tracing back to Japan’s actions during the Asia-Pacific War—and inextricably entangled to form a more or less bounded domain of public debates and policy problems.

Moreover, the controversies are structurally homologous in the sense that they pertain to commemoration, an act of remembering the past to construct what sociologist Maurice Halbwachs called “collective memory.”12 On the one hand, collective memory is internal and psychological, consisting of mnemonic schemas or tacit understandings of what to remember about the past and how to remember it. On the other hand, collective memory is external and material, encoded in mnemonic objects that include, but are not limited to, archives, memorials, museum exhibits, and history textbooks.13 A variety of commemorations, such as anniversary celebrations and memorial ceremonies, aim to align participants’ mnemonic schemas with mnemonic objects surrounding them in order to institutionalize a certain form of collective memory of their purportedly shared past.

In this process of constructing a collective autobiography, however, commemoration eliminates ambiguities from historical facts. As philosopher (p.5) Tzvetan Todorov observed, “While history makes the past more complicated, commemoration makes it simpler, since it seeks most often to supply us with heroes to worship or with enemies to detest.”14 Even though commemoration oversimplifies and even distorts, it is indispensable to social life because only through it can people appropriate something as vast and complex as history in order to articulate their collective identity. As a result, when different groups come into contact with each other, they are likely to notice disjunctions in how they commemorate the past. These disjunctive commemorations can then become sources of controversy and even conflict between the groups precisely because the foundations of their collective identities are at stake. In this sense, a history problem is not unique to East Asia but commonplace around the world.

But controversy and conflict over commemoration of the past become intractable when they intersect with nationalism, a political doctrine and cultural idiom that divides the world into discrete national communities.15 When people commemorate the past according to the logic of nationalism, they focus on their conationals, whether heroes or victims, without sufficient regard for foreign others. This exclusive focus on conationals manifests most clearly in nationalist commemoration of an armed conflict, which often elevates fallen soldiers to immortal heroes of the nation while disregarding what these soldiers might have done to foreign others—the moment when one’s own nation becomes sacred above all else, as political scientist Benedict Anderson pointed out.16 Moreover, nationalism excludes foreign others from commemoration in another sense: the principle of national sovereignty prohibits foreign others from participating in the process of shaping the content of commemoration. When a government plans a memorial ceremony for war dead at a national cemetery, for example, it typically does not allow foreign governments to influence the content of the ceremony. History education is another example wherein national sovereignty over commemoration continues to be asserted, authorizing only historians who are citizens of a given country to write “national history.” Indeed, nationalism was the most dominant logic of commemoration during the twentieth century—to the extent that Max Weber once defined the nation as a “community of memories”—and much of the historical and sociological research on collective memory assumed the nation as a unit of analysis.17

By doubly excluding foreign others from the content and process of commemoration, the nationalist logic prompts people to embrace a certain version of the past as a foundation of their national identity. Not surprisingly (p.6) then, if nationalist commemorations confront one another, intense controversy can result. A collision of contradictory versions of the past, each predicated on the negation of the foreign other, is a recipe for escalating mutual distrust and denunciation. This is how a historical problem, which is rather commonplace in itself, becomes an intractable point of contention in intergroup relations. Put another way, East Asia’s history problem is not primarily about scholarly, historiographical disagreement among historians in Japan, South Korea, and China over the evidential validity of historical materials and the plausibility of historical interpretations; rather, it is about emotionally charged disagreement between the governments and citizens in the three countries over how to construct autobiographical narratives as foundations of their national identities.

This fundamentally relational nature of a history problem calls into question the orthodox explanation of East Asia’s history problem, popular outside Japan as well as among left-leaning Japanese. This orthodox explanation attributes the history problem squarely to Japan—the seeming inability of its government and citizens to acknowledge their country’s past wrongdoings—by showing how the Japanese government was dominated by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) during much of the postwar period.18 As the result of this nationalist domination, the orthodox explanation goes, the Japanese government not only refused to commemorate foreign victims but also justified the war as a heroic act of self-defense against Western imperial powers. While I agree that the orthodox explanation has much merit, I also argue that it fails to fully explain the dynamic and trajectory of East Asia’s history problem. For example, when Japan normalized its relations with South Korea and China in 1965 and 1972, respectively, government leaders on both sides in each instance decided to prioritize political and economic interests over issues of apology and compensation. Similarly, a downward spiral of mutually reinforcing criticisms between Japan and its two neighbors intensified the history problem in the early 2000s.

Thus, I argue that the cause of the history problem cannot be attributed to Japan alone and that it needs to be carefully examined in terms of Japan’s interactions with South Korea and China, as political scientists Thomas Berger, Yinan He, and Jennifer Lind have each demonstrated in recent work.19 To understand the evolution of the history problem, then, it is crucial to trace how nationalist commemorations in Japan as well as in South (p.7) Korea and China have interacted with one another to produce mutual antipathy rather than affinity.

Cosmopolitanism as a New Logic of Commemoration

By itself, the interaction of nationalist commemorations does not adequately explain the dynamic and trajectory of East Asia’s history problem, especially in recent decades. This is because nationalism is no longer the only logic of commemoration available today. As sociologist Ulrich Beck and his colleagues have argued, cosmopolitanism, an orientation of openness to foreign others, is increasingly institutionalized in a variety of human practices in the con temporary world, thanks to the globalization of human-rights discourse and the growing sociocultural interactions across national borders.20 Cosmopolitanism presents a new logic of feeling, thinking, and acting that takes humanity, rather than nationality, as a primary frame of reference. Drawing on the logic of cosmopolitanism, people can doubly include foreign others in commemoration: they remember what happened to foreign others as members of humanity, but they also invite those others to contribute to shaping the content of commemoration. As Beck put it, cosmopolitan commemoration involves “acknowledging the history (and the memories) of the ‘other’ and integrating them into one’s own history, … where the national monologues of victimization that are celebrated as national memory are systematically replaced by transnational forms and forums of memory and dialogue, which also enable the innermost aspects of the national realm—the founding of myths—to be opened up to and for one another.”21 Cosmopolitan commemoration thus allows people to extend identification beyond national borders and engage in transformative dialogues with foreign others that critically reflect on the nationalist biases in their version of history.22

Cosmopolitan commemoration has been promoted most systematically by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Currently, UNESCO runs the World Heritage site program. Launched in 1972, the program aims to preserve natural and cultural sites around the world as shared heritage for humanity as a whole. While cultural sites consist mostly of ancient castles, temples, and monuments, they also include sites related to slavery, the Holocaust, the atomic bombing, and other forms of extreme human suffering. UNESCO also established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to protect historic documents, (p.8) relics, and works of art as focal points for remembering world history. This program also includes projects to preserve historical documents related to negative aspects of world history, such as the Holocaust. These two UNESCO programs encourage people around the world to commemorate events that happened to foreign others as fellow human beings. Along with UNESCO, other United Nations (UN) organizations have promoted cosmopolitanism for more than half a century, because political leaders espoused it as a new principle for creating a more peaceful world in the aftermath of World War II, which had brought so much suffering to millions of people. Since cosmopolitanism, embodied by human rights and other UN conventions, has been adopted by national governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) around the world, the horizon of commemoration appears to be extending beyond national borders.

Consistent with the worldwide trend, the Japanese government began to incorporate cosmopolitanism in its official commemoration in the early 1990s. When the LDP, a defender of nationalist commemoration, was temporarily ousted from power, non-LDP prime ministers such as Hosokawa Morihito of the Japan New Party and Murayama Tomiichi of the Japan Socialist Party (JSP) officially apologized for Japan’s past wrongdoings. Concurrently, Japan’s Ministry of Education approved history textbooks that expanded descriptions of Japan’s colonial rule of Korea, “comfort women,” and the Nanjing Massacre, among other negative aspects of Japan’s past. These gestures of contrition expressed the cosmopolitan logic of commemoration and, during the last few decades, Japan’s official commemoration has come to exhibit a complex mixture of nationalist defiance and cosmopolitan contrition. Even Koizumi Jun’ichirō, whose visit to the Yasukuni Shrine sparked so much controversy in the early 2000s, followed Murayama’s precedent and officially offered “sincere apologies” for victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings.23

Cosmopolitan commemoration, however, is not replacing nationalist commemoration in a zero-sum manner. Instead, the relationship between the two is open-ended because nationalism continues to operate as a central organizing principle in the con temporary world. As Ulrich Beck and Natan Sznaider put it, “Cosmopolitanism does not only negate nationalism but also presupposes it.”24 While UN organizations promote human rights, national governments are still responsible for implementing them in education systems and other societal institutions. Similarly, even though membership in humanity is emphasized, national citizenship continues to structure access (p.9) to socioeconomic resources and political rights.25 Since both nationalism and cosmopolitanism are legitimated, this creates what sociologists call an “institutional contradiction,” wherein contradictory but equally legitimate logics clash with each other.26 This institutional contradiction serves as a focal point of political struggles for the legitimate commemoration, and these struggles are likely to be intense and protracted because all sides, subscribing to nationalism and cosmopolitanism differently, have reasonable claims to legitimacy.27

Put another way, the dynamic and trajectory of the history problem cannot be attributed simply to particular groups, such as the LDP, that promote nationalist commemorations, for the problem is built into the very “institutional environment” in which these groups operate.28 The crucial questions, therefore, are how different groups organize and justify their own commemorations by drawing on nationalism and cosmopolitanism, and why some commemorations achieve dominance over others. In short, how does the politics of commemoration play out?

Toward a Field Theory of the History Problem

Politics has been a central concern in the sociology of collective memory since Barry Schwartz, Robin Wagner-Pacifici, and Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, among others, pioneered research on “difficult pasts.”29 These sociologists focused on “morally ambiguous” events that divided members of society, ranging from the Vietnam War to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, and examined how different groups mobilized to legitimate their versions of the past. Although much of the research on difficult pasts took the nation as the unit of analysis, a growing number of sociologists, historians, and cultural theorists have recently adopted transnational perspectives. They have argued that commemorations of difficult pasts, most notably the Holocaust, now travel across national borders through multiple media of communication and influence each other in various directions.30 In this regard, East Asia’s history problem exemplifies the politics of commemoration at the transnational scale, where disjunctive commemorations of the Asia-Pacific War—the difficult past—in Japan, South Korea, and China interact with one another, competing for legitimacy.31

To analytically disentangle the politics of East Asia’s history problem, I propose to use field theory. Originally developed by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, field theory was imported into collective memory studies by American sociologist Jeffrey Olick, who sought to emphasize the (p.10) heterogeneous and dynamic nature of collective memory.32 According to Olick, constructing collective memory occurs in multiple fields—artistic, social, political, and so on—each with its own distinct rules of engagement. Actors compete to legitimate their own commemorative positions by deploying different strategies and mobilizing different amounts of resources at their disposal. While different fields produce different collective memories, they are also interdependent: dynamics and trajectories of fields are shaped both internally and externally. Moreover, relations among fields are structured hierarchically: the political field tends to dominate other fields because its struggles revolve around the government, which has the power to define an official commemoration as a parameter for struggles in other fields. To put it in Bourdieu’s own words, the government is able to “exercise power over the different fields” because it “establishes and inculcates … social frameworks of perceptions, of understanding or of memory” among citizens.33 The political field is therefore “a sort of metafield” in relation to other fields of collective memory.34

By building on field theory, I conceptualize East Asia’s history problem as a political field wherein relevant actors compete over the legitimate commemoration of the Asia-Pacific War. Here, I limit “relevant actors” to those who consciously try to influence Japan’s official commemoration, that is, those who participate in politics in the conventional sense that their actions are explicitly oriented toward the government. The Japanese government is the most important actor in this field because it has the power to define Japan’s official commemoration, the focal point of political struggles. In international contexts, the commemorative position of the Japanese government has been the target of criticism from the governments and citizens in South Korea and China. In domestic contexts, too, various NGOs and political parties have pressed the Japanese government to accommodate and sanction their commemorative positions. Although artists, writers, and ordinary citizens commemorate the Asia-Pacific War in fields other than politics, they remain outside the scope of this book, unless they participate in political struggles over the history problem.

In addition, commemorative positions of the Japanese government and other relevant actors can be identified in terms of the spectrum ranging between nationalism and cosmopolitanism—the two logics of commemoration available in the institutional environment. While some actors might subscribe exclusively to either nationalism or cosmopolitanism, most actors are likely to combine the two logics differently to articulate their commemorative (p.11) positions. At the concrete level, some of these commemorative positions can be labeled as “evasion,” “denial,” “pacifist,” and so forth, as Japanese sociologists Hashimoto Akiko and Tsutsui Kiyoteru have done;35 however, these labels or “frames” pertain to commemorative practices specific to either situations or issues, and they are ultimately derived from combinations of nationalism and cosmopolitanism as culturally deeper logics of commemoration.36

I also propose to combine field theory with social movement studies to analyze how relevant political actors influenced Japan’s official commemoration. According to sociologists Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam, this combination extends Bourdieu’s field theory, which mostly takes the individual as a unit of analysis, by incorporating the mechanisms of mobilization of collective actions.37 In fact, although not using field theory, several sociologists have recently attempted to introduce social movement studies into collective memory studies.38 Following their lead, I borrow two major analytical concepts from social movement studies—mobilizing structures and political opportunities—to strengthen my field analysis of East Asia’s history problem.

Mobilizing structures refers to organizations and their networks that provide human and financial resources for actors to mobilize collective actions and promote their commemorative positions.39 In the case of the history problem, mobilizing structures consist of political parties and NGOs. These are organizational vehicles that enable relevant political actors to advance their commemorative positions. If a political party promoting cosmopolitan commemoration is weak, for example, Japan’s official commemoration is unlikely to incorporate the logic of cosmopolitanism. Mobilizing structures are not static, because some organizations exit the field and others enter, and networks of these organizations change over time.

Moreover, when and how nationalism or cosmopolitanism is incorporated into Japan’s official commemoration depends on political opportunities available for proponents of respective logics of commemoration.40 Political opportunities have two components: access to the government and the relative significance of the history problem in policy debates. If a ruling party that supports nationalist commemoration is ousted from power by an opposition party whose commemorative position is more cosmopolitan, this means a lost political opportunity for proponents of nationalist commemoration and, conversely, a newly gained political opportunity for proponents of cosmopolitan commemoration. In addition, when there are policy issues (p.12) more urgent than the history problem, such as an economic crisis or a large-scale disaster, political opportunities for changing Japan’s official commemoration decrease for both incumbents and challengers.

In this book, then, I use field theory to examine how relevant political actors, equipped with various mobilizing structures, have promoted their commemorative positions and made use of political opportunities to influence Japan’s official commemoration. I argue that such a field analysis allows me to combine the strengths of two different approaches in existing research on East Asia’s history problem. On the one hand, international-relations scholars such as Thomas Berger, Yinan He, and Jennifer Lind have made an important contribution by reconceptualizing the history problem as a relationally constituted phenomenon at the international level.41 Such an international perspective is particularly useful in the con temporary world, wherein more and more commemorations of the past traverse national borders through transnational media networks. This focus on international relations also mitigates the tendency among sociological studies of collective memory that take the nation as a unit of analysis. On the other hand, historians have paid careful attention to public commemorations in civil society. Carol Gluck, Tessa Morris-Suzuki, and Franziska Seraphim, for example, argued that the evolution of the history problem cannot be fully explained without reference to multiple, competing commemorations in Japanese civil society and growing transnational NGO networks seeking to address Japan’s past wrongdoings.42 Indeed, political struggles over historical injustices around the world have begun to involve nongovernmental actors because NGOs and individual citizens are increasingly defined as legitimate stakeholders in international relations.43 Field theory can combine these two approaches by taking into account interactions between governmental and nongovernmental actors in shaping Japan’s official commemoration.

To examine the content of Japan’s official commemoration, I break it down into three dimensions.44 The first dimension consists of speech and action by Japan’s prime ministers, as well as by other relevant ministers, as representatives of the Japanese government. Speech includes official statements on important anniversaries and remarks made by government officials during Diet sessions and news conferences, and action includes visiting memorials and attending ceremonies. The second dimension is compensation policy. Laws that define which groups of people are eligible for compensation express the government’s commemorative position: the function of compensation is fundamentally symbolic of whose suffering deserves to (p.13) be recognized. The third dimension is education, by which the Japanese government legitimates a certain version of the past and disseminates it among Japanese citizens. Even though the Japanese government does not produce its own history textbook, it regulates history education and textbooks through the legally binding Course of Study (gakushūshidō yōryō) and textbook inspection. While these three dimensions are not exhaustive, they nonetheless constitute the core of Japan’s official commemoration.

To understand how the three dimensions of Japan’s official commemoration evolved, I focus on the mediating role of political parties, because the Japanese government is ultimately controlled by politicians that Japanese citizens elect. While NGOs in Japan could press the government by submitting petitions and signatures, for example, their actions have little direct influence on Japan’s official commemoration, because their demands have to be translated by the ruling party engaged in political struggles with opposition parties. Take, for example, the Japan Bereaved Families Association (Nihon Izokukai) and the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyō). These two NGOs tried to influence Japan’s official commemoration throughout the postwar period, but their original demands always had to be processed by their respective political representatives, the LDP and the JSP, which had organizational dynamics and political calculations of their own. Similarly, the governments and citizens of South Korea and China pressed the Japanese government through meetings, statements, and protests, but the effects of these actions were always refracted through the political dynamics inside Japan. Struggles among political parties in Japan thus decisively shape the evolution of Japan’s official commemoration.

For the analysis of the mediating role of political parties, I have examined mainly the proceedings of the Japanese National Diet sessions (kokkai kaigiroku) between 1945 and 2015. Diet proceedings document not only speech and action by prime ministers and other cabinet members expressing Japan’s official commemoration but also debates between ruling and opposition parties trying to represent competing commemorative positions by referring to petitions and requests relayed from their constituencies. Diet proceedings are therefore crucial texts that contain “traces of interactions,” so to speak, through which relevant political actors in the history problem have tried to influence Japan’s official commemoration.

Moreover, to clarify interactions among relevant political actors, I complemented Diet proceedings with four more sources. First, news articles published by Asahi shinbun and other major newspapers document (p.14) commemorative positions and actions of relevant political actors, both inside and outside Japan. Second, pamphlets, books, reports, and statements published by government ministries, political parties, and NGOs in Japan elaborate on their commemorative positions. Third, Japanese translations of primary historical documents produced by governments, NGOs, and citizens in South Korea and China shed light on their commemorative positions. Finally, scholarly literature on East Asia’s history problem available in English and Japanese provides summaries of the public debates on the Asia-Pacific War, as well as scholarly interventions, at different points in time.

Organization of the Book

Based on my field analysis of the data, I argue that the history problem escalated not simply because conservative politicians and NGOs in Japan, aligned with the nationalist logic of commemoration, prevented the Japanese government from fully expressing contrition toward South Korean and Chinese victims according to the logic of cosmopolitanism. The history problem was also aggravated by the very proponents of cosmopolitan commemoration, such as left-leaning politicians and NGOs in Japan, that pressed the Japanese government for greater contrition, for they based their commemoration on the Tokyo Trial, which had judged Japan as solely and entirely guilty for the Asia-Pacific War. As a result, even though they succeeded in injecting cosmopolitanism into Japan’s official commemoration, they galvanized Japanese conservatives to reject the cosmopolitan commemoration by denouncing the Tokyo Judgment as “victor’s justice,” and instead justify Japan’s past aggression as an act of self-defense. The Japanese proponents of cosmopolitan commemoration also allowed South Korea and China to maintain nationalist commemorations of their own that glorified their resistance against Japanese aggression and blame Japan alone for the history problem, consistent with the Tokyo Judgment.

I also argue, however, that a crucial corrective has emerged over the last two decades in the form of joint historical research and education projects that promote mutual criticism of nationalist commemorations and reciprocate cosmopolitanism in commemorating the Asia-Pacific War. This growing transnational network of historians and educators began to critically reassess the Tokyo Judgment that had fueled nationalist resentments in Japan and justified one-sided criticisms of Japan by South Korea and China. Indeed, the joint projects have shown the potential to push Japanese (p.15) citizens to fully commemorate the suffering of South Korean and Chinese victims by confronting the real magnitude of Japan’s past wrongdoings, as well as to encourage South Korean and Chinese citizens to reflect on their own nationalism and commemorate the war, including Japanese victimhood, from a more cosmopolitan perspective.

The following chapters offer a field analysis of how the history problem evolved in East Asia from 1945 through 2015. Chapter 1, “Cross-National Fragmentation,” looks at the period between 1945 and 1964, when the history problem did not yet exist as such because Japan had no diplomatic relations with South Korea and China. During the Occupation led by the United States, the Tokyo Trial prosecuted Japanese leaders for waging a war of aggression against the Allied powers. The Japanese government officially acknowledged its past aggression when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty in September 1951, thereby accepting the Tokyo Judgment. Nevertheless, conservative politicians controlling the Japanese government openly rejected the Tokyo Judgment as “victor’s justice.” They instead justified Japan’s past aggression as an act of self-defense and, together with the Japan Bereaved Families Association, honored Japanese war dead as martyrs at the Yasukuni Shrine. Moreover, after the LDP came to power in 1955, the Japanese government increased its control over history education through the Course of Study and textbook inspection. The LDP thus enjoyed robust mobilizing structures and monopolized political opportunities, successfully framing Japan’s official commemoration in nationalist terms. But, at the same time, opposition parties such as the JSP and the Japan Communist Party actively commemorated Japan’s past aggression against Korea and China. Moreover, A-bomb victims and affiliated NGOs began to adopt cosmopolitanism to commemorate all war victims irrespective of nationality, though they initially paid little attention to foreign victims of the Asia-Pacific War. Since these political parties and NGOs were outnumbered by the LDP and its supporters, however, they did not influence Japan’s official commemoration.

Chapter 2, “The Growth of Transnational Interactions,” examines the period between 1965 and 1988, when the history problem emerged after Japan normalized its diplomatic relations with South Korea in 1965 and China in 1972. After normalization, Japanese A-bomb victims and affiliated NGOs began to commemorate foreign victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings by extending the cosmopolitan logic that they had previously used for commemorating all war victims. The South Korean and (p.16) Chinese governments also pressed the Japanese government to correct nationalist biases in Japanese history textbooks and demanded that Japanese prime ministers refrain from visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, where Class A war criminals were enshrined. Given these growing transnational interactions, the Japanese government expressed remorse for its past aggression on several occasions, revised the Course of Study to increase descriptions of Japan’s past wrongdoings, and provided relief for South Korean A-bomb victims. These actions injected cosmopolitanism into Japan’s official commemoration, though the LDP continued to possess robust mobilizing structures and monopolize political opportunities to defend the nationalist logic of commemoration. Moreover, the South Korean and Chinese demands for a greater degree of cosmopolitan contrition on Japan’s part were coupled with surging nationalist sentiments of their own. In South Korea, ethnic nationalism was energized by the country’s economic success and the democratization movement in the 1980s, and in China, the Communist Party began to promote patriotic education to manage social instabilities created by the Cultural Revolution and economic reforms in the late 1970s. Hence, nationalist commemorations in the three countries were set on a collision course.

Chapter 3, “Apologies and Denunciations,” illustrates how the history problem fully developed between 1989 and 1996, when a major realignment of relevant political actors occurred leading up to the fiftieth anniversary of the war’s end. First of all, the death of Emperor Hirohito in January 1989 prompted some politicians and A-bomb victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to offer explicit apologies to foreign victims of Japan’s past aggression, war time atrocities, and colonial rule. Around the same time, Japanese and South Korean NGOs expanded the transnational network to help former “comfort women” demand apologies and compensation from the Japanese government, while Japanese NGOs helped Chinese victims file compensation lawsuits against the Japanese government and corporations. At this historical juncture, the LDP was ousted from power in July 1993. This allowed non-LDP prime ministers to apologize for Japan’s past wrongdoings more decisively than did their LDP predecessors. Thus, political parties and NGOs supporting South Korean and Chinese victims finally gained a political opportunity to introduce cosmopolitanism into Japan’s official commemoration. Nevertheless, the LDP remained the largest political party in the Diet. This persistent dominance of the mobilizing structures for nationalist commemoration undercut the political opportunity for non-LDP (p.17) prime ministers and forced them to compromise cosmopolitanism with nationalism in Japan’s official commemoration. This compromise intensified the history problem by galvanizing nationalists in Japan as well as in South Korea and China. Japanese nationalists criticized the Japanese government for failing to honor Japanese war dead enough, whereas South Korean and Chinese nationalists criticized it for failing to commemorate South Korean and Chinese victims enough. As a result, the first serious attempt to incorporate cosmopolitanism into Japan’s official commemoration resulted in a negative spiral of mutually reinforcing nationalist commemorations.

Chapter 4, “The Coexistence of Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism,” examines the period between 1997 and 2015, when changes in both domestic and international situations of the three countries made the history problem more complex. The LDP returned to power, but it formed the coalition government with other small parties, while the JSP, a longstanding supporter of cosmopolitan commemoration, was disbanded. Various new actors also entered the field of the history problem, complicating the landscape of mobilizing structures and political opportunities available for nationalist and cosmopolitan commemorations. Perhaps the best-known new actor was the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, an NGO that promoted “healthy nationalism” in history education by cooperating with LDP members who wanted to reduce descriptions of Japan’s past wrongdoings in history textbooks. At the same time, historians and educators in the three countries initiated joint historical research and education projects to critically reflect on nationalist biases in historiographies and textbooks, and even the LDP-led coalition government launched bilateral joint historical research projects with South Korea and China to prevent further escalation of the history problem. Thus, even though the LDP tried to exploit its access to the government and other political opportunities to strengthen nationalism in Japan’s official commemoration, its action was moderated by its coalition partner Kōmeitō and constrained by pressures from South Korea and China. This made up for the decline of mobilizing structures and political opportunities available for proponents of cosmopolitan commemoration. Nationalist commemorations in the three countries continue to fuel the history problem, but they now coexist, in a complex manner, with mutual cosmopolitan commemoration initiated by governmental and nongovernmental joint projects.

The foregoing field analysis reveals one striking pattern in the evolution of the history problem: most of the relevant political actors defined their (p.18) commemorative positions, explicitly or implicitly, in reference to the Tokyo Trial. Thus, chapter 5, “The Legacy of the Tokyo Trial,” explores why the trial became such a key reference point by critically examining ramifications of its three major problems. First, the trial had elements of victor’s justice because it prosecuted Japan alone for the Asia-Pacific War. This created ambivalence and even resentment among Japanese citizens, keeping them from fully confronting Japan’s past wrongdoings. Second, the trial did not recognize Japan’s victimhood vis-à-vis war crimes of the Allied powers, giving Japanese citizens an excuse for reclaiming and dwelling on their own suffering. Third, the trial blamed only a small number of government leaders for the war and practically absolved Japanese citizens. This government-centered view of war responsibility deprived Japanese citizens of opportunities to critically reflect on their share of war guilt. The first and second problems with the trial, in particular, fueled the Japanese nationalist commemoration by breeding resentment, on the one hand, and justified the South Korean and Chinese nationalist commemorations by identifying Japan as the absolute perpetrator, on the other. All three problems then combined to prevent the majority of Japanese citizens from fully commemorating the suffering of South Korean and Chinese victims according to the logic of cosmopolitanism. The Tokyo Trial therefore needs to be critically reassessed, so that citizens in the three countries can disentangle nationalist commemoration from its problematic legacy and move toward a resolution of the history problem.

Such a critical reassessment of the Tokyo Trial, however, is impossible without historians capable of generating what philosopher Paul Ricoeur called “an open dialectic” of historiography and commemoration, which guarantees historical facts and interpretations, as well as national identities, to remain open to dialogues and revisions.45 This open dialectic manifests in the growing joint projects by historians in Japan, South Korea, and China who successfully produced reports and teaching materials that critiqued nationalist commemorations in the three countries. But to what extent can historians actually influence the dynamic and trajectory of the history problem? Chapter 6, “The Role of Historians in the History Problem,” explores this question. Simply put, historians in East Asia have been unable to effectively intervene in the history problem because no adequate mechanisms are institutionalized through which their critique of nationalist commemoration can move the contents of official and public commemorations in a more cosmopolitan direction. This situation is largely engineered by the (p.19) governments of Japan, South Korea, and China, which control history education through curricular guidelines and textbook inspection. The governments also maintain the education systems that force students to memorize “historical facts” for examinations instead of cultivating skills to critically evaluate historical materials. The future of the history problem therefore depends on whether the three countries can create mechanisms to mobilize historians’ critical reflections for critiquing nationalist commemorations and supporting mutual cosmopolitan commemoration.

In the “Conclusion,” then, I explore how mutual cosmopolitan commemoration, supported by historians’ critical reflections, might facilitate reconciliation in East Asia. To this end, I expand on the “pragmatic” approach to the history problem advocated by political scientists. Jennifer Lind, for example, has cautioned against demanding more apologies from Japan because this strategy risks triggering backlashes from nationalists in Japan, galvanizing nationalist sentiments in South Korea and China.46 Similarly, Thomas Berger has argued that the pursuit of reconciliation over the history problem is not unconditionally desirable, and that any successful reconciliation will require many conditions, including “a degree of reciprocity.”47 I propose to refine the pragmatic approach by anchoring it in principles articulated by pragmatist philosophers, such as John Dewey: a future- oriented, problem-solving approach to the past and reciprocal recognition of humanity among relevant actors. Here, how the governments and citizens in Japan, South Korea, and China should commemorate the past is fundamentally tied with the problem of what kind of international relations they envision for the region’s future. Moreover, while reconciliation requires perpetrators to move away from denial toward admission of their guilt, this in turn requires other parties to affirm the perpetrators’ humanity and thus acknowledge the inhumanities that they, too, suffered in the past conflict.48 How to facilitate such reciprocal recognition of humanity—mutual cosmopolitan commemoration—is one of the most urgent tasks confronting the governments and citizens in the three countries today.


(1) Sadako Kurihara, When We Say ‘Hiroshima’: Selected Poems (Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan, 1999), 20–21.

(2) For detailed statistics, see Asahi shinbun, April 27, 2005.

(3) Genron NPO, “Dai 2-kai Nikkan kyōdō seron chōsa,” http://www.genron-npo.net/world/archives/5246.html; “Dai 10-kai Nitchū kyōdō seron chōsa,” http://www.genron-npo.net/world/archives/5311.html.

(4) Asahi shinbun, August 15, 2015.

(5) Cabinet Office, “Seron chōsa: Nihon to shogaikoku tono kankei,” http://survey.gov-online.go.jp/h26/h26-gaiko/2-1.html.

(6) Dokdo/Takeshima refers to a group of small islets in the Sea of Japan. Japan and South Korea have been disputing sovereignty over Dokdo/Takeshima since the end of the Asia-Pacific War. For the history of the territorial dispute, see Dae Song Hyeon, Ryōdo nashonarizumu no tanjō: “Dokdo/Takeshima mondai” no seijigaku (Tokyo: Minerva Shobō, 2006); Alexis Dudden, Troubled Apologies among Japan, Korea, and the United States (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), chap. 1. The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are located in the East China Sea. The islands were administered by the United States until 1971 as part of the occupied Okinawa Islands. Japan and China (and Taiwan) began to dispute sovereignty over the islands after the United States transferred its control of the Okinawa Islands to Japan. For the history of the territorial dispute, see Ukeru Magosaki, Nihon no kokkyō mondai: Senkaku, Takeshima, hoppō ryōdo (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 2011), chap. 2; Sheila Smith, Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), chap. 4.

(7) Asahi shinbun, September 1, 2012.

(8) Ibid., September 16, 2012.

(9) Gilbert Rozman, ed., National Identities and Bilateral Relations: Widening Gaps in East Asia and Chinese Demonization of the United States (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2012).

(10) For a summary of debates on the term, see Jun’ichiō Shōji, “Nihon ni okeru sensōkoshō ni kansuru mondai no ichikōsatsu,” Bōei Kenkyūjo kiyō 13 (2011): 43–80.

(p.200) (11) T. Fujitani, Geoffrey M. White, and Lisa Yoneyama, eds., Perilous Memories: The Asia-Pacific War(s) (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001).

(12) Maurice Halbwachs, On Collective Memory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).

(13) Jeffrey K. Olick, “Collective Memory: The Two Cultures,” Sociological Theory 17, no. 3 (1999): 333–348; Hiro Saito, “From Collective Memory to Commemoration,” in The Handbook of Cultural Sociology, ed. John R. Hall, Laura Grindstaff, and Ming-Cheng Lo (London: Routledge, 2010), 619–628; James V. Wertsch, Voices of Collective Remembering (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

(14) Tzvetan Todorov, Hope and Memory: Lessons from the Twentieth Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 133.

(15) For a summary of sociological literature of nationalism, see Michael Billig, Banal Nationalism (London: Sage Publication, 1995); Craig Calhoun, Nationalism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997); Anthony D. Smith, Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History (Oxford: Polity, 2001).

(16) Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (London: Verso, 1991).

(17) Max Weber, Economy and Society, vol. 1 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), 903; Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983); Jeffrey K. Olick, ed., States of Memory: Continuities, Conflicts, and Transformations in National Retrospection (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003); Barry Schwartz, “Social Change and Collective Memory: The Democratization of George Washington,” American Sociological Review 56, no. 2 (1991): 221–236; Lyn Spillman, Nation and Commemoration: Creating National Identities in the United States and Australia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

(18) For detailed discussion of this orthodox explanation, see Philip A. Seaton, Japan’s Contested War Memories: The “Memory Rifts” in Historical Consciousness of World War II (London: Routledge, 2007).

(19) Thomas U. Berger, War, Guilt, and World Politics after World War II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012); Yinan He, The Search for Reconciliation: Sino-Japanese and German-Polish Relations since World War II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Jennifer Lind, Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008).

(20) Ulrich Beck and Natan Sznaider, “Unpacking Cosmopolitanism for the Social Sciences: A Research Agenda,” British Journal of Sociology 57, no. 1 (2006): 1–23.

(p.201) (21) Ulrich Beck, Power in the Global Age: A New Global Political Economy (Cambridge: Polity, 2005), 43.

(22) Ulrich Beck, Daniel Levy, and Natan Sznaider, “Cosmopolitanization of Memory: The Politics of Forgiveness and Restitution,” in Cosmopolitanism in Practice, ed. Magdalena Nowicka and Maria Rovisco (Surrey: Ashgate, 2009), 111–128; Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider, Human Rights and Memory (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010).

(23) Cabinet Office, “Prime Minister’s Official Statement, August 15, 2005,” http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/koizumispeech/2005/08/15danwa.html.

(25) John W. Meyer, “Globalization: Sources and Effects on National States and Societies,” International Sociology 15, no. 2 (2000): 233–248; Yasemin Nuhoglu Soysal, Limits of Citizenship: Migrants and Postnational Membership in Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).

(26) Roger Friedland and Robert R. Alford, “Bringing Society Back In: Symbols, Practices, and Institutional Contradictions,” in The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, ed. Walter W. Powell and Paul J. DiMaggio (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 232–263.

(27) Hiro Saito, “Cosmopolitan Nation-Building: The Institutional Contradiction and Politics of Postwar Japanese Education,” Social Science Japan Journal 14, no. 2 (2011): 125–144.

(28) For discussion of how institutional environment shapes interactions, see John W. Meyer, John Boli, George Thomas, and Francisco O. Ramirez, “World Society and the Nation-State,” American Journal of Sociology 103, no. 2 (1997): 144–181; Patricia H. Thornton, William Ocasio, and Michael Lounsbury, The Institutional Logics Perspective: A New Approach to Culture, Structure, and Process (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

(29) Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, “Commemorating a Difficult Past: Yitzhak Rabin’s Memorials,” American Sociological Review 67, no. 1 (2002): 30–51; Robin Wagner-Pacifici and Barry Schwartz, “The Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Commemorating a Difficult Past,” American Journal of Sociology 97, no. 2 (1991): 376–420; Vera L. Zolberg, “Contested Remembrance: The Hiroshima Exhibit Controversy,” Theory and Society 27, no. 4 (1998): 565–590.

(30) Aleida Assmann and Sebastian Conrad, eds., Memory in a Global Age: Discourses, Practices and Trajectories (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010); Astrid Erll, “Travelling Memory,” Parallax 17 (2011): 4–18; Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider, The Holocaust and Memory in the Global Age (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006); Michael Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009).

(p.202) (31) Mikyoung Kim and Barry Schwartz, eds., Northeast Asia’s Difficult Past: Essays in Collective Memory (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

(32) Jeffrey Olick, The Politics of Regret: On Collective Memory and Historical Responsibility (London: Routledge, 2007), chap. 5.

(33) Pierre Bourdieu, “Rethinking the State: Genesis and Structure of the Bureaucratic Field,” in State/Culture: State Formation after the Cultural Turn, ed. George Steinmetz (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999), 58, 68.

(35) Akiko Hashimoto, The Long Defeat: Cultural Trauma, Memory, and Identity in Japan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); Kiyoteru Tsutsui, “The Trajectory of Perpetrators’ Trauma: Mnemonic Politics around the Asia-Pacific War in Japan,” Social Forces 87, no. 3 (2009): 1389–1422.

(36) Hiro Saito and Yoko Wang, “Competing Logics of Commemoration: Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism in East Asia’s History Problem,” Sociological Perspectives 57, no. 2 (2014): 167–185.

(37) Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam, A Theory of Fields (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

(38) Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Suzanna M. Crage, “Movements and Memory: The Making of the Stonewall Myth,” American Sociological Review 71, no. 5 (2006): 724–751; Raj Andrew Ghoshal, “Transforming Collective Memory: Mnemonic Opportunity Structures and the Outcomes of Racial Violence Memory Movements,” Theory and Society 42, no. 4 (2013): 329–350; Kiyoteru Tsutsui, “Redressing Past Human Rights Violations: Global Dimensions of Con temporary Social Movements,” Social Forces 85, no. 1 (2006): 331–354; Bin Xu and Gary Alan Fine, “Memory Movement and State-Society Relationship in Chinese World War II Victims’ Reparations Movement against Japan,” in Northeast Asia’s Difficult Past: Essays in Collective Memory, ed. Mikyoung Kim and Barry Schwartz (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 166–189.

(39) For a review of mobilizing structures, see Doug McAdam, John D. McCarthy, and Mayer Zald, eds., Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Mayer N. Zald and John D. McCarthy, Social Movements in an Organizational Society: Collected Essays (Edison, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1987).

(40) For a review of political opportunities, see Doug McAdam, Political Process and Development of Black Insurgency, 1930–70 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); David S. Meyer and Debra C. Minkoff, “Conceptualizing Political Opportunity,” Social Forces 82, no. 4 (2004): 1457–1492.

(p.203) (41) For a summary of these contributions from international-relations scholars, see Eric Langenbacher and Yossi Shain, eds., Power and the Past: Collective Memory and International Relations (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010).

(42) Carol Gluck, “Operations of Memory: ‘Comfort Women’ and the World,” in Ruptured Histories: War, Memory, and the Post-Cold War in Asia, ed. Sheila Miyoshi Jager and Rena Mitter (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), 47–77; Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Morris Low, Leonid Petrov, and Timothy Y. Tsu, East Asia beyond the History Wars: Confronting the Ghosts of Violence (London: Routledge, 2013); Franziska Seraphim, War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945–2005 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2006).

(43) Elazar Barkan, The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000); John Torpey, Making Whole What Has Been Smashed: On Reparation Politics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006).

(44) I draw on Berger’s War, Guilt, and World Politics and Lind’s Sorry States in delineating these dimensions of Japan’s official commemoration.

(45) Paul Ricoeur, Memory, History, Forgetting (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 392.

(48) Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, ed., From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); Arie Nadler, Thomas E. Malloy, and Jeffrey D. Fisher, eds., The Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).