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The Korea-Japan Conflict: Lessons for Peace

October 11, 2009

I’m grateful I confessed my bitterness about Japan’s atrocities against Korea (see Surprised by a Japanese Song of Sorrow).  Otherwise I would not have received the two remarkable testimonies of hope below.  While Japan’s government continues its policy of hiding the truth, God is planting seeds of confession and repentance under the radar.  Such responses make me wonder:  is it time for a fresh forum of Korean and Japanese Christians to gather, discern, and wrestle together toward a new future?

From a Japanese-American with a long and deep involvement in multi-ethnic ministry:

“From the ‘other side,’ I feel great shame for the way my forbearers treated Koreans (and Chinese).  The horror and evil attack my soul whenever I think about it.  I continue to speak out and write about it when the opportunities present themselves.”

From a friend:

I remember one year (I think about 1994) at a post-Urbana event for international students, a group of Koreans and a group of Japanese started meeting and on the last day presented a public confession/forgiveness ceremony to the whole group. It was very moving. I seem to remember that they started an organization to promote these kind of meetings, but I have lost track of the progress.

The deepest work of truth, repentance, and forgiveness is grassroots.  I’m grateful for the stories where this is happening in Korean and Japanese lives.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chuck Olcese permalink
    October 13, 2009 12:51 pm

    I remember one year (I think about 1994) at a post-Urbana event for international students, a group of Koreans and a group of Japanese started meeting and on the last day presented a public confession/forgiveness ceremony to the whole group. It was very moving. I seem to remember that they started an organization to promote these kind of meetings, but I have lost track of the progress.

  2. Syngman Rhee permalink
    October 16, 2009 3:45 pm

    I am delighted to read more stories of reconciliation between Koreans and Japanese. In spite of the tragic past history of Korean people under Japanese occupation of Korea, we need to move on for a new history and possibilities of working together for peace and reconciliation around the world, particularly for peace and reconciliation between North and South Korea.

    I remember with a deep sense of gratitude some Christian leaders who dedicated themselves for democracy and human rights under the military dictatorship in South Korea and for peace and reconciliation work between North and South Korea.

    Let us move on for our challenging tasks.

    Syngman Rhee
    Union Seminary, Richmond, Virginia
    Former Moderator, Presbyterian Church USA

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