Remembering War’s End: The Politics of Memory in East Asia

Written by Stephen Nordin, Research Intern

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender at the end of the Second World War. In 1995, then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama made a famous speech atoning for Japan’s wartime actions, expressing remorse for ‘a mistaken national policy’ of militarism and the destruction it engendered. Known as the ‘Murayama Statement,’ it has represented Japan’s official position toward the war for nearly two decades.

However, current Prime Minister Shinzō Abe takes a different view of Japan’s wartime past. How he chooses to interpret his nation’s history will not only have immediate political implications for bilateral relations in the region, but also may hint at his broader policy agenda and how transformative his premiership will be for Japan.

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Turkey’s Road to Isolation

Post by Holly Mortimer, Research Intern at the International Centre for Security Analysis.

As Turkey’s President Recep Tayipp Erdoğan continues to expand the power of the presidency with an eye to rewriting the constitution; his outspoken comments, stubbornness and incoherent foreign policy in the Middle East appear to be pushing Turkey further towards international isolationism. In recent months Turkey’s friends seem to be particularly thin on the ground, both in the West and regionally. This is compounded by Turkey’s ever clearer authoritarian drift; its apparent reluctance to target ISIS; and its strained relations with neighbouring countries.

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