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2002 FIFA World Cup and Its Effects on the Reconciliation between Japan and the Republic of Korea

  • AKIKO SAKAEDANI (a1)

Abstract

Japan and the Republic of Korea have been going through a painful process of reconciliation since World War II. But with the momentum created by the FIFA World Cup and the high popularity of Korean pop culture in Japan, the trend shifted and the two countries seem to be enjoying a more amicable relationship. This paper aspires to understand when and how the steps toward reconciliation were taken between the two countries. The overarching research questions are: what steps were taken, and what channels of communication contributed to or hindered the process of reconciliation? Section 1 first lays the historical context of the dispute, and Section 2 assesses the diplomatic steps taken toward reconciliation by applying Assefa's reconciliation model, which leads to an analysis of discrepancy between the governments and the civil societies. Section 3 considers the impact of the FIFA World Cup in 2002, when momentum for friendship was reinforced by the various exchange activities at civil society level, as well as the Korean pop culture. The in-depth interview adds insights and public opinion polls clarify the perceived status of reconciliation. Section 4 concludes by returning to the more generalized issue of how communication between the two nation states has changed with the information technology, which is key to understanding the dynamism of the lingering reconciliation process.

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2002 FIFA World Cup and Its Effects on the Reconciliation between Japan and the Republic of Korea

  • AKIKO SAKAEDANI (a1)

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