chapter  3
24 Pages

The early apologies: repairing relationships

One of the most compelling reasons for national apologies is to repair relationships with those who have been harmed or offended by past actions. This can be especially important if the aggrieved parties are neighbors with whom one maintains regular business and social relationships or if they are internal constituencies whose good will, participation, and support in the political order is to be encouraged. Early apologies of the Japanese government concerning its militaristic past-in particular, those aimed at Korea and China in the 1980s-are clearly motivated by the desire to rebuild fractured relationships.