Preeti Nalwa: World War II Still Haunts Asia

Preeti Nalwa is a Non-Resident Kelly Fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS, a Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellow and PhD candidate at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi.

This year, the territorial disputes between South Korea, China and Japan have coincided with Japan’s World War II commemorative services at the Yasukuni shrine.
The 67th anniversary celebrations have brought the memory of war back into the political consciousness of the three most advanced nations in Asia.
The three countries’ histories of World War II continue to negatively affect their perceptions of one another. China and South Korea blame Japan for having failed to offer an apology over wartime atrocities commensurate with their expectations. Japan, for its part, thinks its contribution toward the economic development of South Korea and China is expediently overlooked. Japan has also offered apologies to both nations on several occasions.
The territorial disputes over the Dokdo/Takeshima and Senkaku/Diaoyu islands have prevented strengthening strategic relations that could better address the North Korean regional nuclear threat. As a result of these disputes, what could be the most powerful triangle on the international stage is still not being developed...

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