There are deep divisions within Japanese society over possible constitutional changes, most pressingly the redefinition of Article 9’s proscription against waging war abroad. In the mix, ideas about North and South Korea significantly inform Japan’s debate not only about its military posture but also other critical issues such as the reach of the state and official reflection on the nation’s past history. This talk will introduce ways in which Korea continues to be a necessary foil in Japanese discussions about Japan with topics as diverse as ICBMs to surviving victims of Japan’s colonial and wartime era.
Alexis Dudden is professor of history at the University of Connecticut. She received her PhD in history from the University of Chicago in 1998. She has conducted extensive research on Japan’s role in the Pacific War, U.S. policy in East Asia, and current environmental and security issues in East Asia. She is the author of Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States and Japan’s Colonization of Korea: Discourse and Power, and i is currently writing a book about Japan’s territorial disputes and the changing meaning of islands in international law.