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.

Reconciliation is a complex and long-term political process with a psychological dimension that is the object of many research projects today. During the event “Hearts of Flesh Not Stone: Encountering the Suffering of the Other through a German Lens,” Professor Dr. Martin Leiner, the founding director of the Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS), explained …Read More

This Policy Report suggests a tri-regional “partnering in leadership” to assuage the tensions and lingering hostility in East Asia.  Partners are necessary from the three regions involved: East Asia (Japan, China, South Korea), the United States (as main security guarantor), and Europe (with EU/Germany as mediators).  Indeed, such a tri-regional “partnership in leadership” approach for reconciliation …Read More

This year’s AICGS Annual Symposium is framed around the idea of “A World in Flux”: the relative decline of the West’s economic power; the  need to  adapt our work forces to be successful in a new era; and changing geopolitics as a result of ongoing tensions in eastern Europe, the  Middle East, and Asia. Containing …Read More

Twenty-five years after the Kohl-Mazowiecki meetings and joint mass that inaugurated “official” German-Polish reconciliation after 1989, German-Polish reconciliation is viewed as an instructive example both in Europe (Polish-Ukrainian relations) and East Asia (Japanese-Korean relations).

This speech was delivered as the keynote address at the conference of the same name: “Rising Tensions in East Asia? A Transatlantic Perspective.” For the presentations, photographs, and full summaries of all three panels, visit the event page. All eyes are turned on the Ukraine, Russia, the Middle East and ISIS, but to disregard East …Read More

Following his keynote speech at AICGS’ conference on “Rising Tensions in East Asia?: A Transatlantic Perspective,” Ambassador Volker Stanzel sat down with AICGS Society, Politics & Culture Program Director Dr. Lily Gardner Feldman to discuss lessons from Germany and Europe’s reconciliation process that Asian nations could consider in their region .

For many in the international media and among casual observers of Asia, regional institution-building may appear a mundane subject. Strengthening existing regional institutions, or establishing a more substantive one, is generally a matter of secondary importance for policymakers in most capitals in Asia. This is more so in Washington, despite its founding member status in …Read More

Now available in paperback, AICGS Society, Culture & Politics Director Dr. Lily Gardner Feldman’s book, “Germany’s Foreign Policy of Reconciliation: From Enmity to Amity,” highlights Germany as a model for reconciliation, especially in North East Asia. In this magisterial volume, Lily Gardner Feldman traces the development of German reconciliation policy in relation to France, Israel, …Read More

In April 2013, Serbia and Kosovo signed an agreement that enabled a rapprochement between the two sides, including an understanding that they will not block each other’s bid for European Union (EU) membership. Relations between the two states had been deadlocked for years, so this was not an insignificant achievement. The agreement was mediated by …Read More

Pragmatic Necessity to Grapple with History Problems East Asian countries are now facing a situation often called the “Asian paradox,” in which deepening economic interdependence coexists with historical and territorial conflicts, and mutual suspicion. The ties of trade, tourism, and cultural exchanges have been deepening, yet these material interactions have not erased Chinese and Korean …Read More

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