tv Discussion on Japan- South Korea Relations CSPAN August 23, 2015 11:58pm-1:28am EDT
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townhall meeting moderated by mayor ray nagin. i know all of this is state level, federal level. i do not have them. meoted for you to represent on a local level. i do not know where else to go. i do not know what else to do. >> their thing are at -- thursday night at 8:00, new york times executive editor dean baquet. president obama's visit to the region 10 years after katrina. katrina anniversary coverage all this week on c-span. >> next, a discussion on relations between japan and south korea. after that, the japanese prime minister's speech commemorating the 70th anniversary of world
war ii. remarksris christie's at the iowa state fair. on tuesday, the heritage foundation hosted a discussion on that history and current state of japan-south korea relations on the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. this is an hour and a half. bruce: clearly, two people that follow asia, they know that right now it is an issue that
has a lot of ramifications, including four u.s. national security interests. follow-onis really a to a number of things the heritage foundation has done. in july, we had a three-ambassador dialogue. we thought that was a great success. , the heritage foundation president and i had a op-ed on south korean-japanese relations. i see this as the end of a trifecta on an important issue. we are pleased to have the a-team of panelists focusing on prime minister abe's statements and the south korean reaction. to see if there is a strong possibility of moving forward.
i think a sign of high caliber of our panelists is not all of them could do this event in japanese. link onuse i am a weak the team, they are being kind to me and doing this in english. so we have -- if you ever have a panel that needs no introduction, this is it. sheila smith, senior fellow for japan studies at the council of relation and author of "intimate arrivals." as well as "japan's new politics." we have michael green, senior vice president for asia and associate professor at georgetown and former senior director at the national security council. evans revere is a senior fellow at brookings and former principal deputy assistant of state for east asia. i have given them the same guidance but am not worried
about overlap. i know they are looking at the issues with different takes. i think we will just get into the discussion. if everybody could make sure their phones are on silent war off, we would appreciate that. we will get started with sheila. for your greatou series of discussions on this topic. today is a wonderful opportunity. i am delighted to see multiple generations in the audience. it is a statement of the importance of this relationship. i have been asked to assess the statement a little bit. startprobably useful to with words. words matter. expressions that were anticipated as being significant were expressions used in
previous statements. for the record, they are "aggression," "colonial domination," "deep remorse," and "apology." if all of us were sitting on a panel of week before the prime minister made the statement, we would have to debate whether that would be included or not. in the his own party days before the statement made the case that he should not use those words in a statement. that his semantics. it was a signal of diplomatic intent that he included all four. i will let others speak to the question of his sincerity or whether he should have used the subject "i."
what was interesting in that statement is that he took a lessons-learned approach. he said explicitly what had not been said before, which is the japanese sense of remorse and regret was embedded in postwar diplomacy. the principles japan had upheld were a reflection of postwar sentiment. not need to go into the detail, but obviously, that is his prescription on the use of force by japan, implicit in article nine of japan's competition -- constitution. so that was pretty straightforward. i think some of the messages he directed towards the japanese people are worth noting. i do not think he held back on acknowledging the damage that japan had done, had imposed on
the people of asia. he included specific names of countries on the battlefield. the also included, twice, i thek, the impact battlefield situations had on women. in other words, he referred indirectly to the question of trafficking of women and sexual aggression against women in war. he spoke to the quiet side of the postwar japanese people, which was an interesting statement. one piece that i wrote about in a blog that i do not think people spend much time talking about was the gratitude to those who had suffered at the hands of the japanese imperial army, or their tolerance. that -- that is the word that he used. to my knowledge, no japanese " toer has said "thank you
the chinese people or the p.o.w.'s. those were things that i thought were different. the last piece has gotten attention. that youngerink japanese, the children of this generation and grandchildren, his own generation, should not be predestined to apologize. that is the piece of the puzzle that many of us were looking for in terms of what he thought needed to happen. there is a little bit of data, not a lot, but some data on opinion polling in japan. there was a poll this morning that i think is interesting. the poll this morning has a little more texture -- let me give you a sense of it. 48% of japanese approved of the statement. 34% did not. 14% margin. not an overwhelming endorsement,
but a majority in favor. ," the use of the word "hansei 72's -- present supported the use of the word "regret." on apologizing, 63% thought that was the right thing to say. 50% of the respondents said they thought it would have no impact on diplomacy. that is interesting information that we can talk about later on. let me leave the words aside for just a second. part of our task is to think about the interaction between japan and south korea. analyzee were asked to president park's statement, i not using the commemoration simply to talk about japan.
she was talking about the future of koreans themselves. left room to work with the abe cabinet, should they decide that is what they want to do. neither were proactive in spelling out an agenda, but i do not think the subject of commemorating the end of world -- is thein a death space to do that. there was a much more positive than what you saw coming out of china. is it the basis for forward movement? would behe statements a formula for the future of diplomatic relations, but i did not have that expectation myself. they did not prevent -- present an additional hurdle. that is the evaluation i would give. i do not think the statements alone will improve the relationship, but i think both paid attention to not making the
moment a setback for the countries. seoulould tokyo and proceed? i think there are some specific moments to keep our eyes on in the days ahead. the most obvious is the september 3 commemoration by xi jinping. there is some newspaper reports going,y mr. abe may be and others saying that is not necessarily true. i will leave that to our journalists. but there is the question of whether president park will go. the best of all possible worlds would be that both leaders found occasion to go. how they participate, i think that belongs to a serious part -- conversation with beijing. there is an opportunity for leadership on the part of the president park and prime
minister abe. if i had my dream, i would say they should meet, but that may be too ambitious. we are looking for bilateral meeting at some point between the two leaders. we should not make this dependent on china. the leaders should make this a focus of their own interests. interestingould be to talk about whether or not there is a trilateral summit. the prime minister of south korea, japan, and china did need this spring. trilateral meetings have been postponed because of the chinese. i hope this will be an occasion for the three leaders to meet. and tokyo will find a way to make this a positive opportunity. finally, there is a meeting in the fall in washington.
meeting,i jinping's followed by president park, will be critical for setting the stage for diplomacy. let me stop there. thank you. bruce: thank you, sheila. evans: good morning. thank you for coming here. andial thanks to bruce heritage for putting together this panel and audience. it is an honor. i will not deliver my remarks in japanese, korean, or chinese, but in my broken new york city english. forgive me. let me begin with a personal take on prime minister abe's statement, which i found somewhat halting. very complex. and, occasionally, problematic
in japan's ongoing attempt to try to deal with its troubled history and with its resentful neighbors. but despite the statement's. faults, i have an inkling it may contribute to an easing of tensions between japan and korea if both sides handle it well. and i opportunities, think there are some opportunities, if the opportunities are wisely and despite some of the criticism leveled against the statement, i think the statement will probably not make things worse between japan and korea. it may, in fact, make them better. statement, for those of you
who have not heard it, is rather long. the 1995es longer than address at the end of the war. oft was the high water mark postwar japanese apologies. statement of the abe and the fact that it was cabinet-indoors suggests to me that this was an effort to make word ontive japanese the legacy, the conflict, and the issues of apologies. only time will tell if that becomes the case, since a future government may have more or less to say. the content of the statement also made very clear, as sheila pointed out, that the prime
minister was trying to eliminate future generations of japanese to have to apologize for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers. unfortunately for the prime minister, the shortcomings of the statements pretty much here guaranteetokyo -- that tokyo has not heard the last from korea for apologies. , i do not think that relations between tokyo and seoul are destined to remain in a depressing funk in which they have been mired during the tenure of the prime minister and his counterpart. i will have more on that in just a moment. theall of its faults, statement was better than we have reason to expect. she learned that point. -- sheila made that point.
but it was also not as forward leaning as we had hoped. support for those holding nationalistic views, past quibbling over whether japan committed aggression and official involvement in sexual enslavement of so-called all thoseomen," things gave us ample reason to fear that the anniversary statement may be quite deficient and troubling in a number of respects. the prime minister surprised us. including using the word and making sure it was japanese aggression he was talking about in his statement. wordso threw in the other that sheila mentioned for good measure. so, i think he passed
an important test. something very few critics thought. the extensive use of the passive voice in the statement is artfully done. ,o the device that he used inciting the apologies of previous governments, rather than delivering his own personal apology gave the impression the prime minister was trying to stay a step removed from the level of responsibility that had been conveyed in earlier japanese government statements. having said that, i think we can take some comfort in the fact that the prime minister highlighted these contrite statements of predecessors and reminded us that japan has, in
fact, repeatedly stated its deep remorse and heartfelt apologies. most importantly, in my view, abe endorsed all the previous cabinet statements, including those he had been explicitly or implicitly critical of in the past. that is important. in doing so, he obviously associated himself with those statements. by describing the statements as "unshakable," interesting choice of words, the prime minister has made the previous statements of remorse, apology, he has made those words the new foundation for future japanese government pronouncements on the issue of work on -- war crime responsibility.
this isis that all of something the republic of korea can and should interpret positively as evidence that the prime minister is willing to accept the verdict of his predecessors. if you look back over the many ups and downs of this prime minister's tenure, it is fair to say the prime minister has, along way. has he met all of the concerns? in a word, no. the basis for a fundamental turnabout in relations? on this, i would say the jury is still out. several things in the statement have justifiably disappointed the koreans. they hoped to see a specific reference to and apologies for
the colonization of korea. i suspect that was a bridge too far, since many in japan believe the colonial annexation of korea put korea in a different category than china. of course, prime minister abe went out of his way to make a specific and positive gesture toward china, but there was no gesture forthcoming for korea. e statement also provided "hingome have called e-worthy" moments. as the prime minister tried to explain the drift towards war in the 1930's. none of that could have been pleasant for koreans, who
remember the harshest of colonial experiences. the fact that his historical analysis was tempered with an admission that japan, in his words, took the wrong course in the road to war, i think was helpful. coming from this friend minister, that is an admission that should be welcomed. abe should have made a standalone reference to the suffering of creative people, rather than including them in a list of people suffering in the region. that was a lost opportunity. koreans had some reason to think that abe may do right by them. days before the statement, the korean people witnessed a profoundly moving scene. hatayamaime minister falling on his knees in front of a japanese prison cell where
koreans had been incarcerated and tortured. he fell on his knees in a gesture to the many koreans who had suffered. heard anreans also advisor and former japanese ours,at, a friend of describe japan's annexation of "historical sin." that could have set the stage thea magnanimous step, but prime minister stopped short of a statement of atonement. lost was an opportunity to make a specific reference to comfort women, arguably the most emotional issue complicating ties between korea and japan. a positive word would have gone a long way.
but the admission that the dignity and honor of women had been damaged by japan should not should theghtly, nor wishes tothat japan be a country at the side of rts be onemen's hea that is dismissed. open the doorts to a more forthcoming approach by japan towards korea and koreans. korea will have a chance to hold the prime minister to his words in the months to come. for all of its shortcomings i have mentioned, i think the seemsminister's statement to offer korea something it can seoul is prepared to recognize how far the prime minister has come in his tenure.
attempt toe's relieve future generations of the burden of apology misses a point. for japan to be relieved, it is important that today's expressions of loss and regret are seen as credible and sincere. tokyo will have to make further efforts to reconcile with its neighbor. that is a core point of the rok reaction conveyed on saturday. president park was careful not to dismiss what prime minister abe had tried to do in his statement. "did notthe statement live up to expectations." a very mild criticism by recent
korean standards. minister's the prime positive statements of remorse, president park challenged his withnment to match consistent and sincere actions its declaration that the view of history articulated by previous cabinets will be upheld. deeds willan view, need to be matched with words. president park also took note, her words again, of prime ofister abe's endorsement previous japanese statements. she said one of the groups most previously harmed where the comfort women. she called on japan to resolve ae issue quickly and restated commitment to moving forward to a future of prosperity with japan. by reiterating the importance of
bilateral friendship, she seems to be leaving the door open to further improvement and ties with tokyo. that is a real positive sign. indeed, if you look back over recent months, the overall tone and direction of japan-korea relations seems to have shifted away from acerbic comments and in favor of remarks emphasizing the possibility of positive future relationships. importantly, prime minister abe's statement seems to have given korea just enough to work with as they explore ways to improve ties. view,t question, in my the statement could have been better. had -- could, more
have been said. but the good news is that the korean president seems to agree prime minister abe is in a better place on matters of mutual concern. she also seems to agree the statement concerns -- contains enough to open doors, not slam them shut. early to tell if they can make progress on the issues that divide them, but what seems clear is, in the aftermath of the statement, and thanks to president park's statesmanlike reaction, the size seemed prepared to try. as for the u.s. and how we should respond, it is obvious we have a strong interest in better ties between our main asian allies. the united states can help by
reminding tokyo and seoul of the state they have in relations and the danger of allowing ties to fester. but there is little that the united states should do. at the end of the day, japan and korea must conclude the challenges they face and the values they share are more important than the terrible and tragic history that has continued to divide the. thank you. thank you for inviting us and thank you for coming. i would associate myself with sheila's analysis and agree with prediction this could add some momentum in relations. never had any expectation, nor
should anyone that the statement would resolve the issue. joanne lye famously said, it will take generations to resolve the issue. xi jinping said, we will leave this to the next generation. it has gotten easier. but this statement never had any chance of resolving the history issue. a lot of the criticism of the prime minister's's statement is premised on a need to resolve this. that wasut it to you never a realistic prospect. the question is, could you create some forward momentum? on balance, though evans is
balance, i think it modestly will have some momentum. on the politics of it, within aimed for the abe center, not the right. 45% who saidl has they were satisfied with the statement. of the key question on the said, ifthe kyoto poll you aggregate people who liked the apology and thought there was no need to mention the apology, it is 66%. abe aimed for the center and generally hit the target. for those not happy with the , let's not assume they
were all liberals. that includes right-wing and conservative people who are not happy with the prime minister's expressions of remorse. i think he hit the center. , wordently as a month ago inside the prime minister's's office was that the statement would be more or less what he said to the joint session of the u.s. congress, which is less of what we heard on august 14. i am speculating, but i think there are several reasons for that. one was the prime minister's intellectual journey. he spent a lot of time talking to scholars. he personally redrafted most of it. that is one factor. passiveactor is the -leaning coalition partner. this was a cabinet statement.
they needed and wanted to get ku mato on board. that was important for his political standing. was, he was, ir many of theen by debates to look at how japan should approach the 70th anniversary. if you look at the commission, it was mostly centrists and center-right. these are not right-wingers. center,ralists, but center-right. d multiple explore dimensions of the issue. the one with the biggest influence was the idea that
japan's in norma's mistakes and suffering caused did not happen because of original sin. it happened in the context of global history. recent history of is increasingly critical of original sin in germany. and germany has put that original sin in a box. wasink prime minister abe keen not to perpetuate a narrative that japan was a permanent center. -- sinner. as a matter of history, the structural factors, what happened in the international
system, cannot be ignored. particularly if you are going to prevent it from happening again in the future. so i personally did not have a problem with it. i thought it was historically accurate and made it possible for the prime minister to be more forthcoming in reflection than previous prime ministers had. did not offer a personal apology, as sheila and evans mentioned. moved toand australia issue statements. i thought it would be a caveatad welcome, but the white house put out a signal that they welcomed this and wanted forward movement. spokesman. abbott's i will bet you that was coordinated.
both the u.s. and australia have an interest in moving forward. past, not freee japan from working on the issue, but to make sure it did not set the tone for japan's position in asia. i thought the statements were very influential. and probably had an impact on seoul, which is an ally of the u.s. and friend of australia. the administration has been all over the map on this issue. but i think that was an effective way to set the tone. in china, people said the response was harsh. but it was actually fairly moderate. noticed themay have english language chinese
statement said japan should have apologized, should have done this, should have done that. the chinese statement said japan must apologize. i do not think this is an accident. i think the chinese are playing to multiple audiences. jinpingvember, when xi -- even though there is a for politicalalry and economic reasons, i thought the initial statement that actions are more important than words was well done and appropriate. particularly in a japan-korea context. they quickly set the action matters, which i think is appropriate. i thought president park's
statement was well-crafted. i think both evans and sheila said. from a u.s. perspective, this is a toughest knot. , over -- in some holes , over 80% of japanese do not trust koreans. we are not talking about right-wing politicians. we are talking about liberals in japan who are frustrated with korean actions with respect to court cases. , but that does5 not mean japan should be absorbed from responsibility on the most sensitive issues.
but it is a bad dynamic. thew in the statement, first target was the japanese public. third was china, and korea was last. i agree that this is a strategic mistake for korea. it is critical that other meiji leaders understood that this was a dagger aimed at the heart of japan. and i think we will have a more rational debate about japan-korea relations because of this. i will just end with a few predictions. i do not think japanese prime minister's will apologize anymore. it is possible you will have a center-left politician come back
in, but i would not expect that in the next four or five years. i do not think anyone in the ldp will apologize. i think abe succeeded in putting it in the past, as he wanted. did himself abe dictator paper in terms of legislation on security, which had a lot more head wind in the public than the government expected. in part because it was framed poorly, and in part because of the 70th anniversary. coalition partners signed on, the fact that his support has gone up since the statement, will help him pass security-related legislation. i put that at 80 or 90%. that was a good 20% bump from the statement. evidence -- evans
this adds some momentum to reducing the headwinds for progress towards a trilateral meeting. -- if theyh sheila could do a meeting on the margins of the september meetings in china, not on the day the pla parades its "shock weaponry, that they be the only way they go. it is very risky for abe. to have the entire chinese theme the about shock and awe. but i would bet against it. would say in november, there is a good chance there is a trilateral summit. there will be more
momentum. nobody loved the statement in korea, but there will be more momentum towards addressing bilateral issue. the comfort women is the hardest one but not the only one. will they be resolved? there should be progress on them. but i take away from the dynamics that this issue will not define japan-korea relations. based on the merit of bilateral relations, there will be momentum towards a trilateral summit. i hope, from the perspective of japan's interests, that there is some progress on the issue going forward. bruce: thank you. tonow the audience is eager get in questions, but i'm going to exercise my prerogative and toss a few of. generally, i think we have a positive response from the
panel, which, i think, reflects the u.s. expert community. are we grading him on a curve? should we grade him on a curve in the sense that, given expectations a week ago, especially a year ago, and predictions, whether they were , that he will never say like a studentt that you have low expectations but give him a higher grade because of good effort? conversely, are the critics grading him on a reverse curve? that same text been issued by a dpj prime minister. a curve and reverse curve.
sheila: great question. i think we are grading on a curve, to be fair. pieces of thetwo puzzle we have talked about. is that statement reflective of national policy? i think the intellectual journey that might talked about -- mike talked about, i do not think we are just grading prime minister abe. are looking into how opinion is changing in japan. on thetalk about that south korean side as well. how we grade him is one piece. is not justth that reading his performance but recognizing what is transforming inside japan. it is not a movement to the right. it is a generational change in which the history question
continues to be part of diplomacy. the reverse curve, for the critics, i was neither criticizing or praising the statement. we have to take it on its own terms. i was not a fan of tweaking semantics. i think the semantic debate sidesteps the core issue, which is how does reconciliation take place in asia between seoul and tokyo, and will leadership overcome some of the domestic differences emerging in both? not a direct answer to your question. i think sheila's tate is pretty much my own. statement is the fact that i was grading on a curve, but more importantly is
the korean analysis. were they grading him on a curve? my take away from president park's statement over the weekend is that, somehow, he has passed an important test. i thought you were going to ask me what grade i would give him. bruce: you can do that. him decentuld give anks for effort, but any -- "incomplete," but send him home to do more homework, which i think is what president park has suggested. the jury is out, but i am cautiously optimistic a door has been opened to a better relationship. whether thetion of reverse curve exists and whether amapj government or muriy
government would have issued a statement, i think there was a more intense level of -- what is the right word? greater sentimentality in the muriyama statement, not to done,ize what abe has despite the incomplete grade i have driven him -- given him. the person matters. i think those that would grade on a curve, which is most experts, are doing that because of prime minister abe's past statements. but if you said, what if this as not abe, and this was
statement issued by previous prime ministers -- if any of those guys had issued a statement, we would say, that is about right. iyama is the postwar, bipolar, cold, war context. i do not think this is generational. it is the structure of politics and geopolitics. but i think the statement could have been issued by almost any prospective prime minister on the horizon. i could think of a few exceptions. but i think most mainstream byple, if abe was abducted space aliens tomorrow, the same statement would have been expected. wouldn't have gone the
same positive grade or criticism? in both cases, i said it was because of the prime minister's past statements, but they were in the context of a statement by a socialist prime 1995, all thein baggage of a socialist party to the statement. context setical prime minister abe's generation against the muriyama statement. it was not about korea or china. it was an ideological battle over whether japan has the right to be a normal nation or not. that color the way many in the cap viewed the apologies. it was all the ideological baggage.
it is a different context. i think his statement is pretty much what mainstream prime ministers would have said. bruce: i will open the floor to questions. i will start with the usual housekeeping. once i recognize you, wait for the microphone to come to you. state your name and affiliation. and keep it short. have it as a question rather than a speech. issuesre so, given these , which are highly controversial and emotional in both japan and korea, if you could please keep your questions in the context of analytic questions as opposed to very strong remarks. going tod if you're throw something, throw it at him. [laughter] >> chris nelson. thank you for continuing a rich
discussion. i have printed 50 pages of comments so far. some of the feedback i have been is a lot of our korean friends feel that they have been sandbagged on this. made clear in advance we want to move forward. therefore, it would be good if you did too. president park certainly came through. but the undercurrent is worrisome. us? that keep the onus on we leaned on them to be positive. don't we need to lean on prime minister abe to take up president park's offer?
specifically, what do you think the prime minister should be doing? one of the things i had in my report was that he reached out to her on comfort women. and once and for all resolve this. that is what he took out of what he heard on saturday. ?o you agree with that have imposed an additional burden? does anybody want to jump in? evans: i think there has been a lot of leaning by washington in both directions with lots going on in the background. concerns expressed in both directions. while a lot of this may not be public, behind-the-scenes, i think there has been helpful advice offered, including from
those of us on the dais here. i would take issue with the notion that koreans feel sandbagged by all of this. if you look at various statements out of seoul on what they wanted or needed, one of the fundamental requirements was of allirmation by abe previous japanese government statements. there have been plenty of editorials in the korean press suggesting that abe was trying to undercut them, but he has done the opposite. he has associated himself with them, and they are a part of his legacy as well. i think it is unfair to suggest that seoul was sandbagged. as i suggested, there have been some very hopeful dialogues going on in the last several
months on a number of levels up theve kind of keyed environment they find themselves in. there has been a turning up of the volume of future-oriented remark. i am a little less cynical than your unnamed correspondents. i think it is important for the united states to continue what it has been doing, continue a quiet dialogue with seoul and tokyo and encourage them to move things in a better direction and take advantage of the opening. michael: i was in the office that dropped the statement from the white house.
knowing how that all -- office confident thaty was inean government probably daily conversation, as was japan, with them about how it would play. i doubt the korean government is surprised. the press probably was, because it is sensitive and was not shared. i think president park's statement was well-crafted. but i think they had knowledge of how it would play. evans: his korean counterpart in goodped key this up fashion. in many ways, the abe
statement is the product of internal debate in japanese politics. debate, that, in that the nationalist right lost out. my question is about the 80% of the public in the polls, which obviously covers a spread of political views that said they do not trust korea. how does that play into the responseand the korean , and what can move that korea?e in japan towards it seems to me this is quite worrying there are that many japanese who do not care much for koreans.
sheila: i think everyone is aware of the polling data. i am sure that everyone on the panel understand that when we go to tokyo and talk to friends, both sides of the political spectrum, that the attitudes are troubling. that there has been, i think, a deepening of mistrust and antagonism and open expressions of discrimination against koreans. i will hold both leaders accountable for some of this. betweenthe estrangement seoul and tokyo could have been a different story. i am an academic, so i get to say things like this without responsibility, but i think political leaders ought to take that to heart.
when they decide they are not going to speak to each other because their publics do not like it, they are creating political opportunity inside the society for the antipathy we are seeing on both sides. responsibility for diplomacy. that is one piece of the puzzle that i am not singling out one leader or another. this story has been unfolding since the dpj. park inherited this dissonance, but they aren't the only ones at the moment to fix it. both leaders now have a higher hurdle in explaining to koreans and japanese wide their futures
are so interdependent and why their futures should be interdependent. that's not a complete answer to your question about why that 80% exists, there are plenty of reasons we can come up with like war memory and mistreatment, but i think the real question is how it gets fixed. i think that 80% will shift into japan and i think it's movable. i think that is mr. abe's inheritance of all. it is trying to advocate for and demonstrate that the japan-korean relationship is in their best interest but he needs a partner in seoul to do that. i agree with all of that. there is japan fatigue in seoul as well. there is a problem in both capitals with how they perceive the other side. it is a fact that there has been insufficient leadership exercised on both sides here to be very frank.
i have to mend his love and respect for both countries and i have served in both for many years. leadersue that the two who are in power now inherited a lot of dissonance from their predecessors. but on their respective watches, it got worse. i think the good news coming out of all of this is that in recent months, it has become increasingly obvious that responsible people in both capitals right up to the top have looked at this deterioration of relations between the 2, 2 countries that have so much in common in terms of shared values, concerns, threats. things have gotten so bad that it was time to try to arrest what some have described as a freefall in the relationship. point to the events over the weekend as having turned the
corner in this relationship. i think we have actually begun to turn a corner several months ago as the two sides recognized that something needed to be done. the point i want to leave you with here today is that the events of this weekend have reaffirmed that both sides seem to have the sense that things should not be allowed to get any worse and that there is some prospect that things might get better and that we might be able to get that 80% number back in better territory. mr. green: it's a good question. i am not sure the right wing lost. the far right lost, but i thought this statement sort of synthesized, brought the centerleft and center-right together. on the question of japan-korea, i agree it is about leadership. i don't think it was about malicious intent. prime minister abe made his
first speech as prime minister the second time in 2013. i moderated the discussion. we told our friends in the premise or's office that i was going to call on victor chong to japan-career relations. we thought we were doing a good thing. prime minister abe said he was glad i asked that question. my grandfather often said he was leader inro-korean japanese history. it was not the right message. president park also did things, statues toy with assassinate, that i don't think we are necessarily done with
japan's message in mind, but we are inflated by the chinese. both sides had sailors and leadership, not moral or malicious intent, but too much familiarity. i've had a number of conversations with park before she was president. she is quite pragmatic. and abe did very well with korea his first time as prime minister. unfortunate,s just clumsy politics in part because they thought they were so familiar as conservatives with each other. where i once was an exchange student and go from time to time for the hot springs, there is a hill where the first korean cross the ocean and crashed into this hill.
there was a memorial there. in 2000, the prime minister and president went and they built a korean villa and put up a huge stone forever pledging warm relations between korea and japan. you don't see that now. part of this, because it's about leadership, is setting the right tone. little gestures like when the prime minister went to the on the 50thsy anniversary of the 1965 treaty back in june. going to the embassy, that's good but it's not very gripping or imaginative. i think part of this will be to andpast the grumpiness allow the two leaders to start thinking really creatively. it wasatement, although not a home run, will make that possible. to think of the kind of jesters that will create the and -- gestures that will create the
environment. it is going to have to be iterative and hopefully that will be some of the more imaginative, creative thinking that both capitals do. >> thank you very much for the great discussion. theuld like to ask about chinese victory day ceremony that has been discussed already. sorry, i thought the that heion by dr. green might go if there is a trilateral. it's very interesting.
my question is, what do you think president park would do? there has been a report that chinese government is obviously pushing her. the u.s. government is expressing some reservation. i would like to hear your prediction or speculation. also, how would the u.s. ceremonyt treat this deco -- ceremony? i am not with the government anymore, that's why i smiled so much lately. i will not speak for what washington may or may not be doing. i think it is important to beijing bye visit to either president park or prime minister abe from the military parade, the point that mike made
earlier. these are very different things. ishink if prime minister abe to visit, i see no problem with a visit by president park to beijing. but the military parade i think is very different. if i were advising one side or the other, not that anybody has asked me to provide a vice, but if i were, there would be a number of factors that i would want to consider before approving the notion of a visit to beijing. one of which would be the notion , is my counterpart from tokyo or soul going -- seoul. i think it legitimizes it is both can go. the government's position on a number of issues dealing with peace and stability and the future of northeast asia. peace andl is
cooperation and reconciliation in east asia, which is obviously a goal of president park and her presence atdoes her a military parade further that goal? personally, i think not. that would be one factor that i would consider. frankly, how appropriate would it be for a korean president to be at a military parade if that's an option that is hosted by the last country to have invaded korea? speaking very bluntly. the participation in the military parade, once again, this is separate from a visit to beijing, being there at the military parade risks buying partyhe chinese communist mythology about world war ii and
resistance to japan, that it bore the brunt of the battle of the fighting, etc. i think that is problematic. and i don't need to remind anybody in this room that the government in beijing did not come into existence until four years after the end of the war. so why are they celebrating? what are they commemorating here ? and then there is also the symbology of tanks and troops rolling down the streets of china for anybody who were and -- tenement -- tnm tianemen. but let's keep the issue of visits separate from the whole parade thing. i don't know how this will play out but if i were asked for my advice, those are the factors i would provide. ms. smith: i agree.
in optics of participating the military parade, especially from standing in tiananmen square for any democratic leader would be difficult. i think that's why the european leaders are having a difficult time making decisions about how they want to think about the moment. on the other hand, i think there is an opportunity here and it is a big one. if president park and prime minister abe want to take it. that is, if they do show up to dramatically in separate jinping to talk to xi about stability in the region, that may be too much of a dream. but i think it is an option that should be fully discussed and considered.and if it is going to be difficult to do, then of course, maybe another occasion. but if it is possible to conceive of coming together on the part of both the president and the prime minister, i think i would applaud that.
also, i think, ask of xi jinping is little bit of buy-in frankly to the importance of the trilateral relationship. i think there is one danger here that i see and i don't speak for our government at all, but one of the great advantages of that trilateral forum is that it allows china, japan, and south korea to build trust, but also to problem solve at the sub regional level. so when they began that trilateral in december 2008, everyone thought it would be about economics or a cross-border issues. it very quickly turned into a was asation where there comfort level talking about north korea, for example. the problem with that trilateral consultative venue is very important. it is even more born today. leaders not toth allow their relationship again to be -- to have china at the axis. defining argue for that ownership of that trilateral is him.
i think if you allow it to be separated and perhaps i'm speaking here to people who are ul, if you allow south korea's relationship to china to be separate from its diplomacy with japan, you weaken yourself over the long run. the same goes for tokyo. if you allow the estrangement with seoul and only focus on china, you have weakened or latitude going forward. i hope that this trilateral occasion, if we could see it happen in a constructive way, on september 3 or the morning of the fourth, i think all of this -- all of us on this panel would be delighted. but at least don't allow the separation to continue in a way that is going to make trilateral is him either unimportant or not possible at all.
mr. green: many of you probably followed the summit last spring in shanghai which brought together continental eurasian .eaders hosts pressed all the participating countries to sign onto a joint statement opposing blocs in asia which was an unambiguous attack on u.s. alliances. calling for a new security system. participant signed on, including u.s. allies like turkey and israel. korea was the only country that refused under enormous chinese pressure. korea is a very good ally of the united states. i was in korea at the time and asked friends in the foreign ministry and blue house if they were concerned that beijing thought korea with sign on --
korea would sign on in the first place. i think that the korean bitrnment has been a little in cautious about allowing park's good relationship with xi jinping, which is a good thing, but i think they have been a little bit incautious about letting china creating a rigid order region, the natural of the future will be a continental system that korea is moving towards. i don't believe that's true and i don't believe that his korea's position, but i know a lot of people who do. i think it would be disastrous for president park to go to the parade and i don't think she will. of the reasons evans very eloquently explained. i think it's risky for her to go. i think it's better to go after than before because then you know what happened in the parade
and you can put it in -- context . if she does ity in a trilateral. , it is a positive thing to have a summit in china around then and participate in the commemoration of the end of the war. it is axially risky for him because the foreign ministry -- it's extremely risky for him because the foreign ministry, control that parade. i think it's almost certain that it will be a very anti-japanese, very militarized parade for a whole host of reasons in chinese decision-making and domestic politics right now. i haven't thought about this a lot but sheila got me thinking. if you think about the logic of it, maybe we should all be pushing this. it would make a lot of sense and have payoff for xi jinping as well i think.
the day after. the day before is not a good idea. >> i am from congressional research service. thanks to the panel. i have two questions. there any reason that the u.s. reaction came from the and spokesperson rather than the ambassador or secretary of state visit?ever after the prediction by mike's that the prime minister's want apologize anymore. -- won't i wonder if that's the case and you can look back at this as a narrative where abe successfully lowered the bar on what you had to do, cleared the bar, but within sort of a martyr for future leaders of japan, is that it that thing? -- bad thing?
can switch positions here. sure the: i am japanese government didn't want it to come from the embassy or the state department. they wanted it to come from the white house. it was not a white house statement, it was an end -- nfc statement. that could have been because getting a white house statement cleared takes more than two hours. unless it's an attack on the homeland or something. it is a practical matter. they needed to get it out quickly. i think the spokesman is easier than getting it through the politicos. on the apology question, are you asking our own personal opinions? i am not big on apologies. in international relations. i think there are times when they are appropriate, but i don't think any country anywhere
for anything owes perpetual apologies. there have been roughly 50 in japan. on -- apologies are extremely political. even the way you apologize establishes hierarchy. it plays to a narrative about whether asia is defined by the norms that japan created or by things that happened 90 years ago. if we want all of asia to be moving towards the norms that we and japan and korea stand by, we are to be focusing on that. for those reasons, i personally in general and not big on apologies. i think it's appropriate. is it a good thing? i don't know. but i think it is appropriate personally. everyone will have their own personal view.
mr. revere: would you draw a --tinction between apologies normal ones and the one that the prime minister made? i don't think they will apologize in the future but i think they will go to marco polo bridge and make more specific references. i hope that's the trend. and that future prime minister's , japanese politicians, ambassadors, will talk more about more specific things. that, to me, is much more fruitful in terms of repairing and healing van and apology -- than an apology which is so
political and hierarchical and legitimacy.and asked the question for a number of reasons. the most import of which is that if you look back at the statement from prime minister abe, one of the building blocks of that statement is this notion of conveying to future generations the lessons we have learned. i think he will probably -- i think you will probably continue to hear that in the future. used the word martyr in your question. be --f us are going to maybe some of you well, but i won't be here in the 80th anniversary, but i think it's in --o protect forward project forward in 10 years from now what the japanese leaders
will say. look at the asia that moriyama was looking out at and look at where we are today. , fastk that context forward 10 years from now, we don't know. i think that will shape whether or not a statement and what kind of statement is given. again, i am not usually abe here supporting mr., but i am finding -- i am not usually here supporting mr. abe but i find myself in that situation today. in his statement, he said that we should never forget history. in his press conference after, he said exactly what might was alluding to which is that he was trying to bring the most japanese that he could together under his statement. thes trying to both bridge difference in definition of what is right and wrong, but i think he is also enlisting them a
little bit in the education, the future generations. this is something we can all come together as a common purpose that we can teach and that we can make possible. but he did take it on as our generation's responsibility and he was on nhk the morning after the statement. he very exquisitely said our generation is responsible for making this happen. it wasn't that i'm not going to apologize anymore. he did sort of assume that his and may be this generation of koreans and chinese, will be able to solve this problem. that is a huge statement of ownership. it was is different of ownership for this generation that i thought the glossed over a little bit. i am not sure that is how he interprets it himself but it was not like he was doing it for the right-wing wing cause or the conservative cause. i think he has felt a little bit more vested in making it possible.
but int a historian, international politics, after you have a war, you have a treaty of peace. todayians still write about the treaty that ended world war i, the treaty of versailles and the punitive peace that that imposed on the german people. scholarship differs, historiography is changing. it was a treaty full of reparations. generations of germans had to pay back those they had used force against. costs ofld war ii, the that heavy burden on future generations was fully discussed when it came time to think about reparations for san francisco. i think today, we are looking at this other question of history. now, we don't have a treaty that is full of reparations for the german and japan people. but we still have this sentiment of unfinished business.
again, bilateral treaties, japan and south korea, japan and china, bilateral treaties for those who were not at the san francisco treaty table. but the basic understanding was that japan would be welcomed back into the postwar peace without punishment. here, we still sit today talking about apologies. i don't want to say that that is the answer to the question, and i know the japanese government gets a lot of criticism, some of it justifiable i think of them being too legalistic in their thinking of what needs to happen. but you are talking about a two-tiered phenomenon here. especially for the women who suffered in the battlefield brothels. those women deserve justice. whether the treaty needs to be renegotiated or not, i can think anybody is going to want to open up that again. leadersink, again, both on both sides have to figure out how their treaty language and their state to state relationship perhaps differs from what is fundamentally a
question about whether these women in their 50's, some of in the lastlive, several months we have lost several more. but those women deserve attention with or without the s, with or without the fighting it out or who -- over who is less or more sorry. that is a piece of the puzzle that is going to be difficult politically. but it goes back to leadership. it's the part that should not be dismissed. >> dr. smith talked about the possibility of holding a bilateral summit between the two countries. important to hold bilateral talks. the more important thing is is what kind of example should be discussed in the meeting.