Patriotes et populistes de l’Asie de l’Est

TOKYO – Confrontés aux soucis domestiques, les politiciens ont souvent recours à des diversions à l’étranger – une règle de base qui est grandement utile à l’analyse des disputes territoriales de plus en plus tendues dans les mers de Chine de l’Est et du Sud.

Même si la Chine est partie prenante dans les disputes les plus intenses et de plus grande portée, la dispute la plus tragique se déroule entre la Corée du Sud et le Japon, deux pays pourtant démocratiques avec des intérêts stratégiques presque identiques. Le 10 août, le président de la Corée du Sud, Lee Myung-bak s’est rendu à l’île de Takeshima (portant aussi le nom coréen de Dokdo), qui fait l’objet d’une dispute territoriale entre le Japon et la Corée du Sud depuis 60 ans. Quatre jours plus tard, il a rajouté de l’huile sur le feu dans un discours à l’université nationale de l’éducation de la Corée, avec une déclaration sur la visite proposée de l’empereur du Japon qui allait comme suit : « S’il veut venir, il doit avant toute chose s’excuser du passé ».

Même si comme président, il compte à son actif de nombreuses réalisations, le président coréen arbore ses galons nationalistes en devenant très critique envers le Japon dans les derniers jours de son mandat, qui se termine en février 2013. En fait, ses déclarations se sont faites si véhémentes qu’il a même refusé d’accuser réception de l’avis officiel du premier ministre du Japon annonçant sa visite dans l’île.

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