By Johan Galtung
An East Asia of 6 states, 5 from the 6-Party Talks + Taiwan. The 6 in East Asia divide into South Korea-Taiwan-Japan in the US-led alliance AMPO+ (USA-Japan Security Treaty+); North Korea; China-Russia with others in SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization). AMPO+ with US “nuclear umbrella”, the other two may acquire nukes; North Korea with nukes; and SCO with two nuclear powers. Put it all together: A nuclear arms race.
Arms races may deter, but often end with wars. Wars mean trauma for losers and glory for winners. PTSD – post trauma stress disorder – may lead to thirst for revenge, and PGED – post glory exuberance disorder – to thirst for more glory. War, war, war. Worse than ever since WWII.
East Asia badly needs another approach.
As a minimum, the four tasks in the TRANSCEND peace formula: the negative peace of conciling traumas and solving conflicts; the positive peace of cooperation for mutual and equal benefit-equity-and harmony based on empathy.
Unconciled traumas and unsolved conflicts:
Japan/USA over FDR provoking Japan into war, Pearl Harbor, fire-bombing/nuclear genocide (Obama fell far short of Willy Brandt genuflexing in Warsaw for the genocide on Jews); Japan/Russia over Russian expansionism and the war; Japan/Taiwan-Korea-parts of China for uninvited, not colonialism, but japanization; Japan/SK – a carbon copy of Japan – with hysterically anti-Japanese policies (not in Pyonyang) demanding ever more apology and money. But Japan-SK “comfort women”, like Japan-China Nanjing, are complex; international commissions may sort facts from fiction.
Japan/China slave labor seems solved (Japan Times 2 Jun 2016).
NK/USA-SK: normalization-nuclear free Korea vs NK collapse.
Then Japan vs Russia, Chinas, Koreas over the contested islands.
Then USA polarizing East Asia, more tension, micro-managing.
Most problematic: Japan, USA; least: Russia. Read More »