Thinking about the Pacific War

Christina Twomey, Ernest Koh

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


On 15 August 2005, the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi addressed a memorial service at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. Koizumi’s speech focused on the damage Japan had caused to ‘Asian countries’ through ‘colonial rule and invasion’.1 At The Hague, Dr Bernard Bot, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who had spent part of his childhood in an internment camp, remembered those who had lost their lives during the Japanese occupation of the East Indies. He made specific mention of the Romusha, forced labourers who suffered appallingly high death rates. Dr Bot also recalled the war as heralding ‘the painful, lengthy and violent separation of roads between Indonesia and Holland’.2 In Britain, the celebrations that accompanied ‘VJ Day’ focused on prisoners of war and British service personnel who had served in the region known to them as the ‘Far East’. The Chinese commemorated the anniversary of victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). Events around the country illustrated the struggle against fascism and the spirit of the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party.3
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Pacific War
Subtitle of host publicationAftermaths, Remembrance and Culture
EditorsChristina Twomey, Ernest Koh
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781315815541
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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