The Politics of Apology: Comfort Women within the context of regional complexities

The Japanese government established the well-organized comfort system served by women during the Japanese colonial period, in which about 200,000 women were both physically and mentally abused by Japanese soldiers. In a bid to solve the “Comfort Women” issue between the victims (comfort women) and offenders (the Japanese government) during World War II, several justice mechanisms such as trial, tribunal, reparation programs, and resolution have been applied with no fruitful results. In addition, the Japanese government has never given a formal apology accompanied by a descent compensation through the public fund, despite the acknowledgment of wrongdoing by Japanese officers. The research question of this paper is about what makes the Japanese government refuse to offer a formal apology to comfort women for war crimes committed during World War II.This paper investigates the three factors discouraging the politics of apology. Those factors include stateled ideology, cultural, and geopolitical elements, which are deeply rooted in the regional politics in East Asia. East Asian countries share similar requisites, which are conducive to the development of the regional politics. The paper shows the politics of apology in Japan’s “Comfort Women” case reinterpreted within the regional context of structural, social, and geopolitical complexities unsuitable to reconciliation.
International Studies Journal, Volume:13 Issue: 4, Spring 2017
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