• Moira Kelley

    Chun Ja-Hyun, I truly enjoyed reading this section of your dissertation on reconciliation, particularly the importance of “proper remembrance” by the Japanese for total reconciliation. I find your initial question, “Have Korea and Japan achieved reconciliation?” to be of utmost importance in today’s East Asian society. Your breakdown of the sects of “reconciliation” – procedural, substantial, and ideational – offers a clear understanding of the term and its place in the history of international relations.

    I come from a somewhat unique background, raised in Japan as the daughter of a United States Marine and now living and getting my Master’s Degree at Seoul National University in South Korea. I have experienced firsthand the way in which Japan and Korea have dealt with the aftermath of the Japanese occupation and the Second World War.

    The strides in procedural and substantial recognition came organically with globalization and modernization of each state within the world order. Yet, ideational recognition has traveled a more turbulent path – the little, it can be said, it has traveled at all. There is such deeply rooted contempt in Korean society for Japan that has hindered the progress and success of ideational reconciliation. I truly wonder if the Korean people can psychologically “restore” themselves to get to a healthier state of mind regarding Japan. I must note here that Korean people have a right to maintain this feeling toward Japan, as I have seen the scars left on Korean people from just a few decades ago. Naturally, proper remembrance will only aid in the ideational reconciliation between Japan and Korea – but will it be enough?