Asian Journal of PEACEBUILDING

Volume 4 Number 1 (May 2016)

Table of Contents

Research Article

Irreparable Animosity? Centripetal versus Centrifugal Force in South Korea-Japan Mutual Perceptions, 1998-2015

Yangmo Ku pp. 53-76
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Using the framework of centripetal and centrifugal force, this article analyzes alternating periods of peace and conflict in South Korea-Japan mutual perceptions since 1998 when the two nations took unprecedented conciliatory actions. Centripetal force is comprised of political leaders’ reconciliation initiatives, restrained historical/territorial disputes, and common security threats. Centrifugal force incorporates heated historical/territorial disputes, political leaders’ use of those disputes for their political purposes, and divergent security priorities. This article suggests that top political leaders in both nations can play a significant role in improving or aggravating mutual perceptions between the two neighbors. However, political leaders’ conciliatory initiatives are a necessary but insufficient condition in reconciling the two former adversary states.
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