INAF-470 Korea-Japan Relations Since World War II
Fall for 2015-2016
How should we understand the vacillations in Korea-Japan relations? Why are they sometimes hostile toward one another and sometimes cooperative? Why have they been unable to achieve the level of reconciliation achieved by Germany in Europe? This course examines Korea-Japan relations since World War II in order to understand the prospects for, and perhaps limits of, cooperation and reconciliation between Korea and Japan. The first section of the course will briefly survey early historical relations between Korea and Japan, as well as introduce students to different ways of thinking about the connections among history, identity, and foreign policy. The second section of the course will emphasize the history of Korea-Japan relations since World War II, describing both the core issues of identity and historical remembrance, as well as the proximate catalysts involving apologies, textbooks, Yasukuni Shrine, and disputed territory. The third section focuses on contemporary Korea-Japan relations in the context of broader Asian security dynamics, including evolving perceptions of the United States, China, North Korea, and Japanese military activity. Despite sharing much in common—including security alliances with the United States—significant differences remain, particularly about interpretations of the history of the early 20th century. Understanding those differences, their implications, and what—if anything—can be done about them, is essential to navigating Korea-Japan relations in the 21st century.
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