Between Tokyo and Berlin: The Art of Dialogue in Reconciliation

Emilia S. Heo 

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan)

Dr. Emilia S. Heo is an Associate Professor of International Relations and Peace Studies at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan. She was an AICGS Reconciliation Fellow in 2012. Previously, she was a JSPS Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo with joint affiliation at the United Nations University’s Institute for Sustainability and Peace. Heo’s main interests include interstate reconciliation, regional cooperation, intercultural dialogue, religious diversity and identity politics. She is the author of Reconciling Enemy States in Europe and Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, UK). At AICGS, worked on the impact spiritual values have on reconciliation focusing on religious movements in South Korea and Japan. A graduate of Seoul National University, Dr. Heo specialized first in European Politics at Université Paris VIII, then in International Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. Coupled with a professional background in diplomatic service, she regularly gives lectures at the Korean Parliament.

Issue Brief 45

Discussing the differences in and implications for reconciliation in Europe and Northeast Asia, Seunghoon Emilia Heo focuses on the need for leadership and dialogue to overcome past conflict. True dialogue, she finds, requires a lessening of old expectations and an attitude of acceptance. Only by doing so can Korea and Japan overcome the roadblocks to being respected regional leaders. Additional commentary on how leadership contributes to reconciliation can be found among resources from the past conference, “Political and Societal Leadership in Encouraging Reconciliation,” where Heo was a panelist.


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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.