Europe has seen something of a universal shiftin the past 100 years. From its blood-drenched past filled with two world wars, human genocide, military expansion and rearmament it has grown throughpolitical cooperation, reconciliation and European integration. ThroughEuropean migration and economic reform which has culminated in the EuropeanUnion, regarded as the champion of multi state democracy.
It is thenunsurprising to see scholars such as Matlti state that the successful story of European integration has been widelyregarded as a role model of inter-state cooperation and regional integration 1 Their ability to overcome their historic distrustamongst European states and a war time memory has widely seen as the benchmarkfor state to state reconciliation. Yet it is this ability by European states toreconcile and forgive past aggressions that East Asian states have yet to cometo terms with. Yet when Europe is contrasts against East Asia it is mainly theFranco-German reconciliation and relationship which is contrasted against japanand its neighbours, it is not hard to imagine why. Both Germany and Japan wereaxis allies, both lost the war and caused millions of deaths and whetherthrough the holocaust or through slave labour caused countless humanatrocities. Germans democratic and moral standing has run parallel with theirown contrition and reconciliation with France that has wide been used tocompare with Japans relationship with Korea and China. Yet two Europeanreconciliation does not give a whole account of European interstatereconciliation and simply arguing that East Asia should learn and adapt itsreconciliation polices to that of France and German is naïve. It is here then that thisessay will focus on. Using the work of Chengqiu Wu1, and Fan Yang1as the basisof this essay I will not only use the relationship between France and German asthe basis of analysing whether their experiences are of reconciliation areapplicable to East Asia I will use three separate European interstate relationshipsafter World War II.
From Franco German, German-Polish and Polish Russiarelationships we can cage a much broader analysis as to whether Europe as awhole can be applicable in regards to reconciliation attempts between JapanChina and Korea and not just west Europe with German and France. The Essay willfirst look to define the term reconciliation into set tables which can becompared against each interstate relationship it will then analysis separate reasonswhy deep lying reconciliation can take effect in some countries such as Franceand Germans relationship and how in some cases only shallow reconciliation cantake place in regards to Poland and Russia relationship. From guilt culture setout by Buruma to realist theory all will be compared and examined to determinewhether any or all can be applicable in the case of East Asiareconciliation. Before outliningEurope’s experiences of reconciliation and how it can be adapted and used inrelation to East Asia it is first essential to first set out the parameters ofwhat reconciliation is meant in this interstate context. Reconciliation can beunderstood as its most primitive of meaning as “ restoring friendship harmony orcommunication” between two parties of which either has experienced trauma inthe past2forstates “ trauma” manifests usually as long lasting conflicts with externalactors, these external factors resort inlarge casualties, human rights violations with some involving territorial loseand national annexation.
With regard to the very primitive definition then itcould be said that the three European relationships have reconciled communicationhas been an ever present in democratic ties between each country parrelationships between Poland and Russia during the later years of the turn ofthe cold war However reconciliation as Yinan He goes far beyond that He focuseson a four stage evolution between states in regards to reconciliation, but forthe focus of this essay we will only be analysing two of the stages “ Shallowreconciliation” and “ deep lying reconciliation” . He remarks that for states toachieve reconciliation that there must be a systematic transitions from thephase of unstable peace in which war is non-existent but the possibility ofviolence is still at hand to the phase of stable peace in which the likelihoodof war diminishes to near nonexistence3 Thisstage of reconciliation is called deep lying reconciliation, where “ fullnational recognition, smooth economic interaction” and share a feeling ofmutual closeness and sometime affection of at least mutual empathy” are thenormal practises. This as Yinan remarks is th4e pinnacle of interstate relationships. The difference between deep lying reconciliation as He states is that unlikedeep lying reconciliation shallow reconciliation conflict is thinkable in termof state relationship while deep lying reconciliation conflict is unthinkable. 4 Froma European perspective deep lying reconciliation has taken place in regards tothe EU countries at least, The multination organism is widely seen as thepinnacle in democratic and economic bilateralism, All three EU countries; France Germany and Poland have been in democratic ties since the late 1990swith France and Germany since the 1950s with the European coal and steelcommunity. While Russia has continued to develop its Compare this to its Eastern Asian states it isclear to see that through Yinans definition they have not achieved deep lyingreconciliation. Whether it be the strain between Korea and Japan over thecomfort woman issue to the continued Sino-Japanese animosity there is continuedpresence of tension which cannot give way to reconciliation.
So what can beanalysed how interstate relationships from one country can be achieved whilethe other has so far struggles. One of the main reasonsargued for European interstate reconciliation is the presence of guilt culturesaccording to Pranti countries such as Germany that have guilty cultures have beliefin the possibility of having acted . otherwise inheritantly bad deeds acceptingthe legitimacy of blame and punishment because of that fact, 5 So using this factor as a comparison betweenthe 3 European states it is rather straightforward in analysing whether thishas help create deep lying reconciliation between states, especially in the case of German relations. Germany asBurum remarks has an unequivocal guilty culture, he states that the Germanpeople are taught from a young age that Nazis and the holocaust cannot beforgotten, he states that “ The German war was not only remembered ontelevision, on the radio, in community halls, schools, and museums…it wasactively worked on, laboured, rehearsed.
“ 6Although tongue and cheek the point still stands, Germans are actively taughtand educated their Nazi past and heritage as an aggressor. Textbooks go intographic detail on events during the war; however it is not just restricted toeducation. War memorials are heavily emphasized on German collective guilt, from plagues commemorating Jewish people and shops which stood before Jewishpersecution in German to Holocaust Memorial Day, German self-persecution isnever far from their minds. It is this deep collective guilt that German hascreated which has helped with its interstate reconciliation with regards toFrance 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’ inregards to European integration.
In regards to France relations Germany payedreparation to victims of the Nazi crimes. While as Wu states German leaders’policy of contrition as for the Nazi aggression increasingly drew the Frenchand German understandings of history closer. 7 Infact by 1965 according to a French public opinion poll, Germany was ranked asthe best friend of France; gaining 20 % of the respondents’ votes8 Germanpolicy for Poland was similar but did not come to the forefront till the 1960swith Brandt and his “ new Eastern Policy” to deal with interstate relations withEastern Europe.
In his most striking of actions Brandt’s falling to his kneesin front of the monument in remembrance of the victims of the Warsaw GhettoUprising was symbolic of the collective guilty culture which has helped withinterstate reconciliation as Chong states this action by Brandt “ brought ashock to polish people while it transformed Poles’ perception of West German” 9from there German and polish integration took place. A common textbookcommittee in 197610to searched research this shared identity of how the war should be rememberedcreated interstate ties between them creating deep lying reconciliation. Therefore it is quite clear Europe’s experience ofreconciliation by way of having a country with a collective guilty culture canbe effective in creating a shared memory or war and memory of that war that canthen be used as the basis for reconciliation. However this factor cannot beapplicable to East Asia due to as Buruma is due to the collective shame culturein East Asia predominately Japan.
Shame cultures as defined by Bedford andHwang are cultures were they are inclined to find alternative andcounter-factual narratives about the past in order to undo the shame internallyrather than taking the blame externally. 11This has according to Buruma caused friction between Japan and its East Asianneighbours which has made deep lying reconciliation impossible.. While Germaneducation of its past has seen to be over emphasized on examining Germanys Nazipast, japan has been criticised for as Chinas foreign ministry of affairsremarks a “ whitewash, deny and rewrite of its history” 12in regards to its educational program regarding the Nanjing massacre.
Keyelements of Japans military expansion and genocide are left untaught or greatlyunderestimated. It can be seen however that Japan has taken strides to recreatesome aspects of the German reconcialtion foreign, policy as Tokyo gradually attempted toimprove its relations with Asian countries through ” apology diplomacy” JapaneseForeign Minister Shiina Etsusaburo visited South Korea and offered Japan’sfirst apology while it offered 300 million in “ loans and business” to compactreparations however this was mostly down to US back policy than guilt felt reconciliation set out by theGermans. 13Unthe less it can be seen as contradictive of the shame based culture which hasoutlined above, yet it is there continued inability to set out clear internationalapologetic rhetoric. As it has been concluded collective guilt culture asa factor of deep lying reconciliation cannot be used in regards East Asia.
So canit be said then that reconciliation cannot be achieved in Eastern Asia becauseof the cultural difference when compared to that of its European counterparts. Howeverit can be said that, western analyst have overemphasizes the significancebetween the cultural differences between European and Asian countries, indeedas Hammond remarks they have given to much significance to German guilt culturewhile “ mystifying” Asian shame culture” 14 Russianand Polish are evident examples of how European interstate reconciliation canbe attained without the need for a guilty culture, from an historical standpoint both Poland and Russia have had coloured past relations. Since the end ofthe second war Russia had been the “ liberator and enslaver” of the polishpeople15 inregards to polish liberation from German control after the war then engulfed bythe Soviet Union during the Cold War. During this period Poland was subject to sovietlaw, being a Warsaw Pact member Poland was “ Stalinised” and its cooperation accordto Applebaum with the Soviet Union was highly institutionalized16 Withthe fall 1(Mattli, 1999)2Phillips, Power and Influence, 523He, the search for Reconciliation 4 He, the search for Reconciliation5Pranti, Effective Multilateralism pg134 6Ian Buruma, The Wages of Guilt Memories of War in Germany and Japan 7Reconciliation and Peace Building in InternationalRelations: An Empirical Analysis of Five CasesChengqiu Wu1, • Fan Yang18 (Yeong2013). 9 ChengqiuWu1, • Fan Yang110 (He2009, 79–81)11 Bedfordand k.
k Hwang,” Guilty and shame in Chinese culture 12What Japanese history lessons leave outBy Mariko Oi13 (Lind2008, 47)14P. Hammond,” the Mystifaction of culture. Western perceptions of Japan” International Communication Gazette, 61(1999), 12915ChengqiuWu1, • Fan Yang1 16 Applebaum, Anne.
2012. Iron curtain: The crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956. New York: RandomHouse
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