The inability to accept the past by Japanese leaders stands in stark contrast to Germany’s clear acknowledgment of its responsibility for the Holocaust. The deep layers of reconciliation Germany developed with France, Poland, Israel, and the Czech Republic stand in contrast to Japan’s apologies to its neighbors, which have been thin, intermittent, and devoid of follow-up in bilateral policies toward China and South Korea that show a genuine desire to make amends. Germany’s experience—apologize, offer compensation, build other relationship—can serve as a guideline for continuing reconciliation in East Asia.

We should learn from this story of the Shanghai Jews. But we haven’t learned.

Between 1904 and 1908, over 100 000 people were killed in the first genocide of the twentieth century.[1]  Only 20 percent of the Herero and about 50 percent of the Nama survived the mass extermination committed under German colonial rule in today’s Namibia. The German government has never officially recognized the genocide as such.  It …Read More

In 2012, the short documentary “Kony 2012” by the NGO Invisible Children created a social media blitz and massive public support for intervention against the warlord Joseph Kony in Uganda. Partially as a result of the public attention, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to support the African Union in a military intervention against Kony. …Read More

Relations between Asian countries are influenced by historical consciousness. The expression of that consciousness, which is extremely politicized in Asia, plays an important role in building or destroying modern relationships.

The reconciliation process in Northeast Asia, notably between Japan and South Korea (Republic of Korea), is still far from being a success story. The governments of the two states have been able to normalize their relations over the last seventy-two years since the end of the Pacific War. Nevertheless, historical matters continue to impede further …Read More

Lukas Welz is chairman of AMCHA Germany, an institution that supports the psychosocial aid for Holocaust survivors in Israel. Within this volunteer position he developed the PresentPast dialogue forum on trauma that brings together practitioners and scientists. He currently serves as policy advisor in the German Bundestag and works for a NGO in the field …Read More

Dr. Christiane Wienand is a historian and works at the University of Heidelberg (Universität Heidelberg), Germany. She is Executive Director (Geschäftsführerin) of the Heidelberg School of Education (HSE), the joint institution for teacher training of the University of Heidelberg and the University of Education Heidelberg. Prior to this, Christiane worked as a postdoctoral researcher in …Read More

Rachel Seavey works as part of the management team at the MIT Senseable City Lab, where she assists a variety of international students and scholars, while managing the Lab’s admissions process, communications, and internal operations. As part of her role, she is responsible for helping coordinate the Lab’s annual Forum on Future Cities conference, which …Read More

Matthew Rojansky

Matthew Rojansky is Director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.  An expert on U.S. relations with the states of the former Soviet Union, especially Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, he has advised governments, intergovernmental organizations, and major private actors on conflict resolution and efforts to enhance shared security throughout …Read More

Yangmo Ku is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Associate Director of the Peace and War Center at Norwich University. He received a BA in German Language and Literature from Sogang University in Seoul, and earned a MA in International Affairs and a PhD in Political Science from George Washington University. He previously taught in …Read More

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