Contextualizing the Centennial of Japanese Colonial Rule in Korea


  • Jeff Kingston



Japan, Korea, colonialsim, reconciliation, apology


This article examines the 2010 commemoration of the centennial of Japanese colonialism in Korea. Prime Minister Kan Naoto’s apology generated controversy, exposing the longstanding domestic divide within Japan over the imperial past. The politicization of history, apologies and acts of contrition impedes reconciliation between Japan and its Asian neighbours. Apologies and acts of contrition may not be sufficient to advance reconciliation, but remain essential elements of that process. Japan’s legalistic position based on the 1965 Basic Treaty may protect it from further compensation claims, but also precludes the grand gestures that are essential to reconciliation.


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Author Biography

  • Jeff Kingston
    Jeff Kingston, Ph.D., Director of Asian Studies and Professor of History, Temple University Japan.


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1. 12. 2011



Past Inspirations and Present Explorations

How to Cite

Kingston, Jeff. 2011. “Contextualizing the Centennial of Japanese Colonial Rule in Korea”. Asian Studies 15 (3): 71-94.

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