Wednesday 15 Aug 2018 | 12:47 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 15 Aug 2018 | 12:47 | SYDNEY

Tokyo: Coming cleaner


Malcolm Cook

11 January 2010 10:20

The new DPJ Government in Japan is having a rough time. It is plummeting in the polls, it just lost its finance minister while its new one has spooked jittery financial markets as well as his leader, and it is letting domestic and partisan politics have much too much sway in its alliance relationship with the US, the supposed cornerstone of Japan's foreign and security policy.

On one important front though, it is making progress. The Japanese Government recently decided to pass on to Seoul documents covering the practices of Japanese private firms 'employing' Korean workers in World War II.

This politically brave decision is consistent with the Hatoyama Government's push for Japan to seek better relations with the PRC and South Korea. If Tokyo continues in this vein, it should help South Korean president Lee Myung-bak's own efforts to forge better relations with Japan, relations that do not forget or ignore history but ones that are not trapped by unresolved historical grievances.

BTW, Peter Alford from The Australian – the only Australian newspaper correspondent in Japan — provides some useful insight into how the new DPJ Government is approaching the whaling issue.