BOOKS / 出版物

Understanding History in Asia

Understanding History in Asia

What Diplomatic Documents Reveal

Hattori Ryuji
Translated by Tara Cannon

Published Titles / History


Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-86658-054-8 | 272 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2019

About the Book

It is said that the twentieth century was a century of war. War and colonization can leave deep divides between nations. In the case of Japan, this antagonism manifested as a result of historical issues. There have also been moments in postwar history where efforts were made to overcome the hostility surrounding these problems. We can see times that featured attempts at reconciliation and improvements in relations between Japan and China, as well as Japan and South Korea. However, these problems heated up in the twenty-first century, impacting not only relations with China and South Korea but also ties with the United States, South-East Asia, and Europe.

This title examines the period from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (the Tokyo Trial) to the normalization of relations between Japan and South Korea and between Japan and China. Chapter 1 explores issues that arose regarding Japanese history textbooks, the release of a statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Miyazawa Kiichi, Chun Doo-hwan’s visit to Japan, and “mutual trust” with Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang and Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro. Chapter 2 investigates the view of the Chinese side and behind-the-scenes negotiations regarding visits by Japanese prime ministers to Yasukuni Shrine, focusing on Prime Minister Nakasone’s official visit in particular. As for the issue of the wartime comfort women, Chapter 3 delves into Prime Minister Miyazawa Kiichi’s visit to South Korea, the statements by chief cabinet secretaries Kato Kōichi and Kōno Yōhei, and relations with South Korea. Chapter 4 explains how Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi’s statement, which was issued on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the war’s end, came to comprise a common language within Japanese politics. Chapter 5 examines twenty-first-century issues, while the final chapter provides future prospects regarding what the future will hold.

About the Author


Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1968. Hattori Ryuji holds a bachelor’s degree from Kyoto University Faculty of Law and a doctorate in political science from Kobe University. He taught at Chiba University and Takushoku University prior to assuming his current position of professor in Chuo University’s Faculty of Policy Studies in 2010. His books include Higashi Ajia kokusai kankyō no hendō to Nihon gaikō 1918–1931 [Changes in East Asia’s international environment and Japanese diplomacy, 1918–1931] (Yuhikaku Publishing, 2001); Nitchū rekishi ninshiki: “Tanaka jōsōbun” o meguru sōkoku 1927–2010 [Understanding Sino-Japanese history: Conflict over the Tanaka Memorial, 1927–2010] (University of Tokyo Press, 2010); О̄hira Masayoshi: Rinen to gaikō [О̄hira Masayoshi: Principles and diplomacy] (Iwanami Shoten, 2014); Nakasone Yasuhiro: “Daitōryō-teki shushō” no kiseki [Nakasone Yasuhiro: Trajectory of a “presidential-type” prime minister] (Chuokoron-Shinsha, 2015); Zōho-ban: Shidehara Kijūrō: Gaikō to minshu shugi [Shidehara Kijūrō: Diplomacy and democracy, enlarged edition] (Yoshida Shoten, 2017); and Satō Eisaku: Saichō futō seiken e no michi [Satō Eisaku: The path to Japan’s longest-serving administration] (Asahi Shimbun Publications, 2017).









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