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The Asian side of the world - II

Jean-François Sabouret

Part One. Regional dynamics and globalization

Was Confucius Korean?

Sources of Chinese-Korean contention

Samuel Guex

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December 2011

Anti-Japanese feelings in the Republic of Korea have a long history, dating back for many to the Wako, the Japanese pirates who plundered the Korean coasts during the 14th century. More recently, it derived almost certainly from the painful experience of colonization (1905-1945), but it is perhaps mainly the way in which Japan manages this sensitive heritage that has fuelled the resentment of many Koreans. Since the 1980s, their grievances have focused on issues like history teaching, the fact that some Japanese political leaders offer their respects at the Yasukuni shrine, where Class A war criminals are buried, compensation for “comfort women”, who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during the Second World War and the territorial dispute over the Tokto/Takeshima islets.

Whereas the conflicting relationship of the Republic of Korea – not to mention the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – with the old Japanese colonizer is well known, such that ...

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