Rethinking Historical Injustice and Reconciliation in Northeast Asia: The Korean Experience

The Northeast Asian region has witnessed phenomenal economic growth and the spread of democratization in recent decades, yet wounds from past wrongs - committed in times of colonialism, war, and dictatorship - still remain. Of all the countries in the northeast region coping with historical injustice, the Republic of Korea has the rare distinction of confronting internal and external historical injustices simultaneously, both as a victim and as a perpetrator. Korea's experience highlights the major forces shaping the reckoning and reconciliation process, such as democratization, globalization, regional integration, and nationalism, in addition to providing valuable insight into the themes of historical injustice and reconciliation within the region.

Although there is no universal formula for reconciliation, the contributors examine the reaction of society from the perspective of citizens' groups, NGOs, and victim-activist groups toward such issues as enforced labor, ,comfort women, and internal injustices committed during the wars to foster a better understanding of the past and thus aid in future reconciliation between other Northeast Asian countries.