In the beginning of the new millennium twentieth century, the emerging nations in the East Asia particularly Japan, China and Korea have attracted great attention from other nations worldwide with its remarkable and strong arising economic growth, political turmoil and transformations, cultural uniqueness yet the significance of security matters in the area. Often when come into discussion of politics of East Asia, these three nations can never be deserted. Their unforgettable history particularly during the Pre and Post World War 2 reflects a complexity of diplomatic relation which remain today among them. Owing to the facts, what are the causes that actuate towards the complexity of their relations? Therefore, various political, economic and social aspects of China, Korea and Japan to be scrutinize within the regional context of the past and present to enhance comprehensive understanding of the principal events and interactions in East Asia.
As a part of student in the field of studying international affairs it is desirable that individuals be exposed to the country’s historical and political developments to bring awareness to avoid repeating historical events. There is a quote saying “Our Ignorance of History Causes Us to Slander Our Own Time” by Gustave Fluster referring to those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it again.
Thus, the aims of this assignment are to evaluate the impact of past tragedies specifically during Pre and Post World War 2 on the complexity of diplomatic relations between the three states. The assessment compromises of several sections. The first section will evaluate on the political and economic relations. Secondly, the following section will study on the implication towards the trade nor political stability among the East Asia countries between the three nations after post war. Lastly, the major challenges or known as failure causes of these three nations unite as union forming as a regional power.
THE WORLD WAR 2 TRAGEDY IN EAST ASIA
World war 2 which also known as global war is one of the deadliest and destructive war ever in the human history. It is an escalation and further extension war between two powers, the Allied and Axis involving substantial number nations after world war 1 after League of Nation failed its role as peace mediator. The world plunged in the darkest years lasting for 6 years since 1 September 1939. Estimated a total number of 60 million or more lives which is a huge mass number sacrifices during the war.
The war began over the expansion and rising power of Japan 1931 with the invasion on Manchuria followed by Nanjing Massacre 1937 a series of brutal attack on China by the Japanese armed force. The Japanese involved in World War 2 after signing the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy where the member states agreed to assist one another when attacked by a country who not already in war. At the same time, Japanese occupy French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos) resulting United States responded with economic sanction with Japan. In retaliation made by US on the Japanese as well as showing the rising power of Japan, decision granted to battle against the Americans.
7 December 1941, Japanese launched an attack against US naval base at Pearl Habor, Honolulu, Hawaii. The attack resulting massive destruction of the and thousands of killings. Initially US had never thought in getting themselves engage in any war and tried to remain neutral. However, the attack from the Japanese realize the American that they could not stay out of the war thus, joined the Allied power to fought against them. A day after the attacks, war declared.
Japan invaded several states territory in the region of Southeast Asia and Pacific during the half year after the attack on US. Unfortunately, tide started turning during Battle of Midway and after Guadalcanal in 1942. In the mid of 1944, the Japanese army recognized that the victory was unlikely, and expenditure exceeded tremendously during the war, yet they never stop fighting until atomic bombs detonated at Nagasaki and Hiroshima by the United States. Consequently, the war victory in favour the Allied powers. Owing to the fact, the tragedies of atomic bombing concluded as the deadliest devastation and destructive effect on human body health due to the exposure of radiation which last until today in the world history.
15 August 1945, the Commander of Japanese military made a radio broadcast announcing Japan’s surrender. In brief, a large amount of devastation and innocent death and vulnerable disease suffered by innocent people during the war. The necessity of this incident could be prevented if the war had not been started. For the sake of showing greatness in power by a state causes chaos that created the wreck of the countries and eventually from political to physically devastation. Although the war had ended, and peaceful treaty was signed but the tragedy remained as a slow healing wound for the nation.
AFTERMATH WORLD WAR TWO
The surrender of Imperial Japanese Army marks the era of new beginning, reformation and modernization of those three states. Upon surrender of Japan after the incident of detonation atomic bomb, United States occupied their territory. Under the supreme command of General Douglas MacArthur who appointed by the US President Harry Truman major reformation and modernization made leading to increasement of social liberalization where people were given equal rights to pursue their own call. The Constitution of Japan was regulated and enacted by United State in 1947 specifically under Article 9 where Japanese are prohibited engaging in any war to solve international dispute and Emperor of Japan has yet no political power but refer as a symbolic of divine figure. Political power granted to the people of Japan through the parliamentary system. Under a new reformation and constructed constitution, the people welcome those changes after realizing the benefits of democracy, industrialization and more capitalistic changes. As a result, Japan was democratized and liberalized through land reform and other methods of social and economic restructuring.
Following the surrender of Japan, the annexed of Korea Peninsula by Japan in 1910 after Russian defeated in Russo-Japanese war was stripped off from their territorial control. However, immediate a provisional government was established in Korea by the Soviet Union exercising control over the Northern region (Democratic Republic of Korea) of Korea Peninsula whereas Southern region (Republic of Korea) by the United States. As both parties having the contradiction of political ideology and allies during the World War 2, the boundary between the 2 zones of occupation was divided at the 38th parallel or also known as Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). This is because both states disagree on plans for an independent unified Korea. The Soviet Union wanted a communist leaning government to be installed instead democratic leaning government from the United States. Therefore, United Nations ordered free elections to be held in decision making towards this issue but failed to adhere by the Soviet Union on UN resolution in 1947, prompting further uncertainty.
Whereas for China, the incident of the Nanjing Massacre and Rape causes by the Japanese had badly affected the diplomatic ties between both states. The China suffered the most number of casualties compared to any other country. The war affected a huge loss of resources by government of China lead by Kuomintang (KMT) to fight against the Japanese and Communist. China faces hyperinflation and corruption caused the raging of Chinese Civil War to favour the Communist. The hostilities continue for the past 4 years from 1945 until 1949. A great number of population has suffered and sacrificed their lives during surprise attacks. Kuomintang forces were forced back to the mainland of Taiwan under a parliamentary democracy with Chiang Kai Shek as head of state while the China mainland had a dictatorship run by Mao Tze Dong.
To sum up, the diplomatic ties among the three countries in modern days are considered dependent to each other no doubt stil shackled with the past events. Owing to the fact, the imperialism of the Western nations were the domain factors causing the complexity of these three nations. The reluctantly of East Asia nations open their foreign trade and investment to the Western resulting the creation of several unequal treaties (Sevbolt,n.d). A simple example can be figured where China as a centre of civilization in the East Asia undermine the capability of the Western power causes the fall of their dynasty leaving the country turmoil and upside down. The Chinese people fought among themselves in several wars ending up China defeated.