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The Great Reversal: Defeated Japan as Ally and Liberated Korea as Enemy

By Mark E. Caprio, Rikkyo University

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
11377 Bunche Hall


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Throughout the planning stages of postwar policies the United States emphasized that the Korean people were to be liberated from their long subjugation by the Japanese enemy. Yet, the occupations of Japan and southern Korea demonstrated the opposite. As the U.S. came to see Japan as its key regional ally, it came to regard the Korea peninsula as a funneling communism conduit. This paper, part of a larger project that considers the dregs of Japanese colonial rule in Korea, traces this great reversal in U.S. policies toward the two Northeast Asian states. It argues that while regional strategy motivated this reversal, historic images of the peninsula and archipelago laid the foundation for decisions leading to this conclusion. 

Mark E. Caprio is the author of Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea. 
He is currently a visiting scholar at the Center for Korean Studies, UCLA.


Sponsor(s): Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies

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