Europe with their own contrition and reconciliation with

 Europe has seen something of a universal shift
in the past 100 years. From its blood-drenched past filled with two world wars,
human genocide, military expansion and rearmament it has grown through
political cooperation, reconciliation and European integration. Through
European migration and economic reform which has culminated in the European
Union, regarded as the champion of multi state democracy. It is then
unsurprising to see scholars such as Matlti 
state that the successful story of European integration has been widely
regarded as a role model of inter-state cooperation and regional integration 1  Their ability to overcome their historic distrust
amongst European states and a war time memory has widely seen as the benchmark
for state to state reconciliation. Yet it is this ability by European states to
reconcile and forgive past aggressions that East Asian states have yet to come
to terms with. Yet when Europe is contrasts against East Asia it is mainly the
Franco-German reconciliation and relationship which is contrasted against japan
and its neighbours, it is not hard to imagine why. Both Germany and Japan were
axis allies, both lost the war and caused millions of deaths and whether
through the holocaust or through slave labour caused countless human
atrocities. Germans democratic and moral standing has run parallel with their
own contrition and reconciliation with France that has wide been used to
compare with Japans relationship with Korea and China. Yet two European
reconciliation does not give a whole account of European interstate
reconciliation and simply arguing that East Asia should learn and adapt its
reconciliation polices to that of France and German is naïve.

It is here then that this
essay will focus on. Using the work of Chengqiu Wu1, and Fan Yang1as the basis
of this essay I will not only use the relationship between France and German as
the basis of analysing whether their experiences are of reconciliation are
applicable to East Asia I will use three separate European interstate relationships
after World War II. From Franco German, German-Polish and Polish Russia
relationships we can cage a much broader analysis as to whether Europe as a
whole can be applicable in regards to reconciliation attempts between Japan
China and Korea and not just west Europe with German and France. The Essay will
first look to define the term reconciliation into set tables which can be
compared against each interstate relationship it will then analysis separate reasons
why deep lying reconciliation can take effect in some countries such as France
and Germans relationship and how in some cases only shallow reconciliation can
take place in regards to Poland and Russia relationship. From guilt culture set
out by Buruma to realist theory all will be compared and examined to determine
whether any or all can be applicable in the case of East Asia

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Before outlining
Europe’s experiences of reconciliation and how it can be adapted and used in
relation to East Asia it is first essential to first set out the parameters of
what reconciliation is meant in this interstate context. Reconciliation can be
understood as its most primitive of meaning as  “restoring friendship harmony or
communication” between two parties of which either has experienced trauma in
the past2for
states “trauma” manifests usually as long lasting conflicts with external
actors,  these external factors resort in
large casualties, human rights violations with some involving territorial lose
and national annexation. With regard to the very primitive definition then it
could be said that the three European relationships have reconciled communication
has been an ever present in democratic ties between each country par
relationships between Poland and Russia during the later years of the turn of
the cold war However reconciliation as Yinan He goes far beyond that He focuses
on a four stage evolution between states in regards to reconciliation, but for
the focus of this essay we will only be analysing two of the stages “Shallow
reconciliation” and “deep lying reconciliation” . He remarks that for states to
achieve reconciliation that there must be a systematic transitions from the
phase of unstable peace in which war is non-existent but the possibility of
violence is still at hand to the phase of stable peace in which the likelihood
of war diminishes to near nonexistence3 This
stage of reconciliation is called deep lying reconciliation, where “full
national recognition, smooth economic interaction” and share a feeling of
mutual closeness and sometime affection of at least mutual empathy” are the
normal practises. This as Yinan remarks is th4e pinnacle of interstate relationships.
The difference between deep lying reconciliation as He states is that unlike
deep lying reconciliation shallow reconciliation conflict is thinkable in term
of state relationship while deep lying reconciliation conflict is unthinkable.4 From
a European perspective deep lying reconciliation has taken place in regards to
the EU countries at least, The multination organism is widely seen as the
pinnacle in democratic and economic bilateralism, All three EU countries;
France Germany and Poland have been in democratic ties since the late 1990s
with France and Germany since the 1950s with the European coal and steel
community. While Russia has continued to develop its  Compare this to its Eastern Asian states it is
clear to see that through Yinans definition they have not achieved deep lying
reconciliation. Whether it be the strain between Korea and Japan over the
comfort woman issue to the continued Sino-Japanese animosity there is continued
presence of tension which cannot give way to reconciliation. So what can be
analysed how interstate relationships from one country can be achieved while
the other has so far struggles.

One of the main reasons
argued for European interstate reconciliation is the presence of guilt cultures
according to Pranti countries such as Germany that have guilty cultures have belief
in the possibility of having acted .otherwise inheritantly bad deeds accepting
the legitimacy of blame and punishment because of that fact,5  So using this factor as a comparison between
the 3 European states it is rather straightforward in analysing whether this
has help create deep lying reconciliation between states, especially  in the case of German relations. Germany as
Burum remarks has an unequivocal guilty culture, he states that the German
people are taught from a young age that Nazis and the holocaust cannot be
forgotten, he states that “The German war was not only remembered on
television, on the radio, in community halls, schools, and museums…it was
actively worked on, laboured, rehearsed.”6
Although tongue and cheek the point still stands, Germans are actively taught
and educated their Nazi past and heritage as an aggressor. Textbooks go into
graphic detail on events during the war; however it is not just restricted to
education. War memorials are heavily emphasized on German collective guilt,
from plagues commemorating Jewish people and shops which stood before Jewish
persecution in German to Holocaust Memorial Day, German self-persecution is
never far from their minds. It is this deep collective guilt that German has
created which has helped with its interstate reconciliation with regards to
France and Poland given all three countries a collect war memory. Reparations’
and acknowledgement for past Nazi crimes became as Feldman states became the ‘cornerstone,
perhaps the very definition, of German foreign policy after World War II’ in
regards to European integration. In regards to France relations Germany payed
reparation to victims of the Nazi crimes. While as Wu states German leaders’
policy of contrition as for the Nazi aggression increasingly drew the French
and German understandings of history closer.7 In
fact by 1965 according to a French public opinion poll, Germany was ranked as
the best friend of France; gaining 20 % of the respondents’ votes8 German
policy for Poland was similar but did not come to the forefront till the 1960s
with Brandt and his “new Eastern Policy” to deal with interstate relations with
Eastern Europe. In his most striking of actions Brandt’s falling to his knees
in front of the monument in remembrance of the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising was symbolic of the collective guilty culture which has helped with
interstate reconciliation as Chong states this action by Brandt “brought a
shock to polish people while it transformed Poles’ perception of West German”9
from there German and polish integration took place. A common textbook
committee in 197610
to searched research this shared identity of how the war should be remembered
created interstate ties between them creating deep lying reconciliation.

Therefore it is quite clear Europe’s experience of
reconciliation by way of having a country with a collective guilty culture can
be effective in creating a shared memory or war and memory of that war that can
then be used as the basis for reconciliation. However this factor cannot be
applicable to East Asia due to as Buruma is due to the collective shame culture
in East Asia predominately Japan. Shame cultures as defined by Bedford and
Hwang are cultures were they are inclined to find alternative and
counter-factual narratives about the past in order to undo the shame internally
rather than taking the blame externally.11
This has according to Buruma caused friction between Japan and its East Asian
neighbours which has made deep lying reconciliation impossible.. While German
education of its past has seen to be over emphasized on examining Germanys Nazi
past, japan has been criticised for as Chinas foreign ministry of affairs
remarks a “whitewash, deny and rewrite  of its history”12
in regards to its educational program regarding the Nanjing massacre. Key
elements of Japans military expansion and genocide are left untaught or greatly
underestimated. It can be seen however that Japan has taken strides to recreate
some aspects of the German reconcialtion foreign,  policy as Tokyo gradually attempted to
improve its relations with Asian countries through ”apology diplomacy” Japanese
Foreign Minister Shiina Etsusaburo visited South Korea and offered Japan’s
first apology while it offered 300 million in “loans and business” to compact
reparations however this was mostly down to US back policy than  guilt felt reconciliation set out by the
Unthe less it can be seen as contradictive of the shame based culture which has
outlined above, yet it is there continued inability to set out clear international
apologetic rhetoric. 

As it has been concluded collective guilt culture as
a factor of deep lying reconciliation cannot be used in regards East Asia. So can
it be said then that reconciliation cannot be achieved in Eastern Asia because
of the cultural difference when compared to that of its European counterparts. However
it can be said that, western analyst have overemphasizes the significance
between the cultural differences between European and Asian countries, indeed
as Hammond remarks they have given to much significance to German guilt culture
while “mystifying” Asian shame culture”14 Russian
and Polish are evident examples of how European interstate reconciliation can
be attained without the need for a guilty culture, from an historical stand
point both Poland and Russia have had coloured past relations. Since the end of
the second war Russia had been the “liberator and enslaver” of the polish
people15 in
regards to polish liberation from German control after the war then engulfed by
the Soviet Union during the Cold War. During this period Poland was subject to soviet
law, being a Warsaw Pact member Poland was “Stalinised” and its cooperation accord
to Applebaum with the Soviet Union was highly institutionalized16 With
the fall

(Mattli, 1999)

Phillips, Power and Influence, 52

He, the search for Reconciliation

4 He,
the search for Reconciliation

Pranti, Effective Multilateralism pg134

Ian Buruma, The Wages of Guilt Memories of War in Germany and Japan

Reconciliation and Peace Building in International

Relations: An Empirical Analysis of Five Cases

Chengqiu Wu1, • Fan Yang1

8 (Yeong

9 Chengqiu
Wu1, • Fan Yang1

10 (He
2009, 79–81)

11 Bedford
and k.k Hwang,” Guilty and shame in Chinese culture


What Japanese history lessons leave out

By Mariko Oi

13 (Lind
2008, 47)

P.Hammond,”the Mystifaction of culture. Western perceptions of Japan” International Communication Gazette, 61

Wu1, • Fan Yang1

16 Applebaum,
Anne. 2012. Iron curtain: The crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956. New York:



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