Overcoming a historical divide

With the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific coming in  a couple of weeks, diplomatic tensions between Japan and its Asian neighbors are bound to flare up again.  Under increasing pressure from voters to improve relations with China and South Korea, two countries that bore the brunt of Japan's wartime brutality, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is desperately searching for way to show respect to the 2.5 million soldiers who gave their lives and maintain a working relationship with leaders across Asia.    As an American who has taught young people in both China and Japan and listened to my grandfather talk numerous times about his experiences as solider near Tokyo during the Allied Occupation in the late 1940's, I have intently followed this growing debate and becoming increasing pessimistic that people in these two great countries can overcome their historical mistrust of each other.  Starting in August 2001, Koizumi's annual...(Read Full Article)

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