Thinking about recent disputes of Japanese legislators’ behaviors to bow to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo between Korean and Chinese governments, their conception of holding Japanese traditional value follows the historical principle of Justice just as what Nozick said. Since being a Japanese means respecting all of its history that started from the 4th Century, and all of its changes in dynasties and political systems, including imperial Japan in the late 19th and early 20th Century, Japan seems to stick to its entitlement theory of justice in holdings and transfer.
     When we discuss about material gains improperly acquired to Japan at the expense of Manchuria and Joseon, transfer of holdings does not fit into justice without doubt. However, theories of expanding Japanese sophisticated system in order to promote East Asian growth together in order to fight against expansionism of West European empires remain a just initial holding for the Meiji Dynasty in late 19th Century in Japan’s point of view. At the time, there was a bounty of field of thought that any country can fix its scope of political thought and develop it in a first-come-first-served basis. Lack of cooperation between nation states at that time had a similar situation to the tragedy of the commons that Adam Smith discussed in England. Just as the enclosure movement suggests that anyone can do anything inside the fence without causing harm to others, Japan did anything inside the realm of concept of ‘East Asian region.’ So Japan thinks that it is the first country that attempted to seize the political thought of making East Asia as a region led by Japan, while other countries had an equal chance of participation but could not be earlier than Japan because of their lack of skills and political quality.
     If throwing out past imperialistic values, imperialism-related materials, capital and technological advancements is obligatory in international relations, then the world order or regional order is said to follow the current time-slice principle of justice. For the benefit of most countries in East Asia including countries having been victims of Japanese Grand Asian Commonwealth, Japan should forgo its ideological background and try to yield some of its product to other countries for the most utility in this region. When Japan decided to make Joseon its colony to expand its influence in Manchuria, it violated the difference principle to give autonomy to the least developed country to develop on its own, without imperialistic management. However, denouncing Japan in applying the theory of justice as political liberalism or utilitarianism is hard, especially when we discuss the power game between the two ‘empires’: Russia and Japan. Russia being in the position of an empire so that it cannot be any inferior than Japan, means that Russian intention to expand its influence in East Siberia is equally bad to Japan, causing less political benefits to countries which do not have imperialistic expansionist ideas.
     Current values of a nation-state that Japanese legislators have are led to a historical principle of justice. As we can see from an interview of one Japanese legislator from Liberal Democratic Party, they bowed to the Yasukuni Shrine because they have Japanese nationality, and the Shrine represents its history of 20th Century having a true Japanese nationality that corresponds to the people. In this sense it is forbidden to talk about colonialism that seized and stole capital and resources in neighboring countries in East Asia that Japan violated the principle of transition, because current issue is limited to transition of national values inside generations of Japan as a sovereign state. According to this idea, it is even the side that could have attempted a military coup to stop the emperor’s intention that is to be criticized, because that attempt would have led to stealing and preventing national values. So if Japan continues bowing to the war criminals in Yasukuni Shrine without causing lethal or material harm to Korea or China, then the behavior of legislators is totally just, not more than respecting its national values handed down from generation to generation.
     Korea and China can thus refute Japanese current political action more persuasively, not just based on hatred sentiments, but by clarifying that expansionist political thought of a Japanese empire cannot be acquired initially following the principle of acquisition, but expansionism is the only result of stealing the political thought of making a peaceful country refraining from territorial expansion. Imperialism cannot be acquired for the first time. But setting up a nation-state or dictatorial dynasty in a certain limited borderline guarantees the principle of acquisition for its political ideology. So there is a way to logically pose a limit of imperialism in order to stop their behavior.

Posted by 마키아또

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