Les chaînes historiques de l'Extrême-Orient

TOKYO – Les relations diplomatiques en Extrême-Orient ont longtemps été prises en otage par l'histoire. Mais « le problème avec l'histoire » de la région s'est intensifié ces derniers temps, où une montée du nationalisme chez de grands acteurs comme la Chine, le Japon et la Corée du Sud ont alimenté les différends dans tous les domaines, depuis des différends territoriaux ou liés aux ressources naturelles, jusqu'aux monuments commémoratifs et aux manuels scolaires. Les pays d'Extrême-Orient peuvent-ils surmonter leur héritage de conflits pour forger un avenir commun profitable à tous ?

Voyons par exemple la relation entre les plus proches alliés des États-Unis en Extrême-Orient, le Japon et la Corée du Sud. Bien que des désaccords historiques aient longtemps entravé les relations bilatérales, les positions de plus en plus nationalistes du Premier ministre japonais Shinzo Abe et de la Présidente sud-coréenne Park Geun-hye ont exacerbé et envenimé certaines tensions. S'ils ne parviennent pas à collaborer pour enrayer la reprise d'âpres conflits historiques, leurs relations resteront au point mort, en faisant le jeu de la Chine.

Et personne ne joue la carte de l'histoire avec autant de plaisir que la Chine, dont le président Xi Jinping compte aussi sur le nationalisme pour légitimer son autorité. Au début de l'année, la Chine a institué deux nouveaux jours de commémoration nationale en l'honneur de la longue bataille de la Chine contre l'agression japonaise durant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale : « Le Jour de la Victoire de la guerre contre l'agression japonaise » le 3 septembre et « Le Jour du Massacre de Nanjing » le 13 décembre. Qu'arriverait-il si des pays comme le Vietnam et l'Inde dédiaient un jour de commémorer l'agression de la Chine contre eux en 1949 ?

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