Tribune. The Stora report chose to do “ a detour through Asia “. Relying on the limited scope of the Japanese apology to China and Korea, he dismisses the option of acts of ” repentance Similar towards Algeria. First, let’s salute the choice to make this Asian crochet. The report also mentions other places where memorial struggles take place – from South Africa to Chile – and such a comprehensive approach can only be applauded.

Mr. Stora paints a generally accurate picture of the situation in Asia. Japan is indeed “Also affected by a series of conflicts around memory issues”. The report thus evokes the Sino-Japanese and Japanese-Korean disputes, focusing in particular on the question of “comfort women” (those sex slaves in the service of the Imperial Japanese Army), or that of the visits of politicians to the Yasukuni shrine (where war criminals are worshiped). The report does not go so far as to address the question of the similarity of Franco-Algerian and Japanese-Korean colonial experiences. However, there is a key to better understand the relevance of the issue of Japanese apologies.

Read also France-Algeria: the 22 recommendations of the Stora report

French Algeria (1830-1962) and Japanese Korea (1910-1945) are much more than simple colonies. The same way as “Algeria is France” (François Mitterrand in 1954), Korea is Japan! Algeria was defined as the extension of France across the Mediterranean, and Korea as the extension of Japan across the Tsushima Strait. In both cases, the populations were closely interwoven, with French settlers in Algeria and Japanese settlers in Korea, and the presence of populations of colonial origin in metropolitan France.

Cloud of smoke

The ideas behind colonization are also broadly similar. Like France in Algeria, Japan sees itself as the bearer of a civilizing mission with regard to Korea. And the two colonies are destined, in the long term, to be assimilated within the metropolis.
In Korea, this desire for integration resulted, from the mid-1930s, in an attempt to systematically eradicate local culture. Abolition of the Korean language, forced adoption of Japanese names, an obligation to worship the emperor and visit Shinto shrines – measures that will leave deep marks in Korean society.

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