東アジアの歴史の亡霊

今年は1905年の日露戦争から百年にあたる。8月15日には太平洋の多くの国で第二次世界大戦終戦60周年の記念式が行われる。もちろん、(日露戦争とともに始まり、第二次大戦を招いた)日本軍の東アジア支配は終わった。しかし、この歴史の亡霊はいまだ東アジアに残り、各国は過去の扱いに苦心している。

中国はそのベンチマークである。何世紀にも渡り、日本と中国は交互に東アジアを支配してきた。そして両国とも、現在の地域主導権を主張している。歴史的には、朝鮮半島が両国のぶつかり合う場となった。しかし、平和を目指すかに見える北朝鮮と韓国の関係上でも、韓国が地域に対する権勢を獲得しようとしている。 

過去のあやまちに対する憤りは、勢力争いを激化させる。韓国の慮武鉉大統領は6月に米国を訪問し、ブッシュ大統領に、中国が韓国を侵略した回数は歴史上100回を越えると話した。彼のこの所見は、隣国への侵略を棚に上げて、自らこそが(最も屈辱的なことに、日本からの)侵略の被害者であるとする中国に衝撃を与えた。

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