Les fantômes du passé en Asie de l’Est

Cette année marque le centenaire de la guerre russo-japonaise de 1905, et le 15 août nombreux seront les pays à commémorer le 60° anniversaire de la fin de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale dans le Pacifique. Certes, la domination militaire de l’Asie de l’Est par le Japon (elle a commencé avec la guerre russo-japonaise et conduit à la Deuxième Guerre mondiale) n’est plus qu’un souvenir. Mais les fantômes du passé hantent encore les pays d’Asie de l’Est, car ils ont encore des difficultés à considérer leur Histoire.

La Chine en est peut-être la meilleure illustration. Au cours des siècles, le Japon et la Chine ont tour à  tour dominé l’Asie de l’Est et tous deux cherchent à assurer leur hégémonie dans cette région. Historiquement, la péninsule de Corée a servi de terrain à leur rivalité, mais avec les deux Corée qui semblent sur le chemin de la réconciliation, il faut aussi compter maintenant avec la Corée du Sud.

Les ressentiments issus du passé étayent les revendications d’aujourd’hui. Lors de sa visite aux USA en juin, le président de la Corée du Sud, Roh Moo Hyun, a déclaré au président Bush que la Chine a envahi plus d’une centaine de fois la Corée au cours de l’Histoire. Cette remarque a choqué la Chine qui se considère comme étant elle-même victime d’invasions (notamment par les Japonais, ce qui est encore plus humiliant) et a oublié les moments de son Histoire où elle se montrait menaçante à l’égard de ses voisins.

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