Recommended Book: The Coldest Winter, David Halberstam

As the six-party talks continue to dance around the question of the future of the Korean peninsula — and the major powers plan for the collapse of the DPRK — it is worthwhile to look back to the (unresolved) conflict that cemented the division of the peninsula and had untold consequences for US Asia policy.In …

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Recommended Book: In The Ruins of Empire, Ronald Spector

My apologies for not recommending a new book sooner, but blame it on a hectic few weeks in Japanese politics.This book, though, is well worth reading. A sequel of sorts to Eagle Against the Sun, his account of the Pacific War, Ronald Spector outdoes his earlier effort in providing a comprehensive record of the bloody …

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Another sign of lingering Japanese war guilt

Following yesterday's finding that a plurality of respondents indicated that Japan still needs to apologize for its actions during the war, I have found, thanks to a tip from a trusted correspondent, a survey conducted by Fuji TV'sHodo 2001" program in April that suggests that the Japanese people are far from defiant when it comes …

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More sorrow, more pity

The International Herald Tribune published a long review by Bernard-Henri Lévy of newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy's campaign book Testimony, recently translated into English.Lévy notes that one of the Sarkozy's leitmotifs is a reassessment of twentieth century French history that dwells less on moments of national disaster and tragedy, enables the French people to …

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Murakami Haruki and Sino-Japanese relations

Joel Martinsen at Danwei posted a translation of an interview in the Southern Metropolis Weekly with Lin Shaohua, Murakami Haruki's Chinese translator.It is a bizarre interview, to say the least, starting with the unironic use of the word "bourgeois" to describe novels like Norwegian Wood. Bourgeois? I guess. And then there's a statement like, "his …

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Those other historical issues

Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio — a Lower House representative from Nagasaki of all places — remains under attack today despite backing away from his argument that the US atomic bombings "could not be helped."The Nagasaki Prefectural Assembly has, in fact, passed a resolution condemning Kyuma's remarks.Kyuma has once again showed his utter lack of political …

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