- 東南アジア研究 (ISSN:05638682)
- vol.48, no.3, pp.294-313, 2010-12-31 (Released:2017-10-31)
This paper aims to examine how reconciliation is developed through apologies towards damages by war, comparing the actions of nation-state, damaged areas and NGOs concerning the Vietnam War. The second aim is to consider official and non-official memories about Vietnam War both in the damaged country and the country that caused damages, further investigating the relationship between a variety of memories and political systems.
During the Vietnam War, South Korea sent the second largest group of armed forces, but recently the Korean’s memories as heroic stories have been confused since Han-kyoreh magazine reported that Korean troops conducted mass killings.
After 30 years, an ex-service Korean’s group visited the Ha My hamlet, Quang Nam Province, where slaughters occurred in 1968. They built a monument for the victims. But when it was completed, the group felt shocked about a poem on the massacre on the monument. After going back to Korea, they demanded revisions. The Vietnamese government, which was asked for revisions by the Korean Embassy, put pressure on the villagers, who finally covered the inscription.
Vietnamese policy is to seal the past and look to the future as at present, the most important issue for the government is to procure development funds from other countries, and to maintain the legitimacy of the Communist Party through economic development. Therefore, the memories of the Ha My, whose villagers did not necessarily contribute to the Revolution, could not become an official memory. Further, those memories are not connected with nationalism. This point is the most different when comparing with the case between Korea or China and Japan.
After the report by the Han-kyoreh, one Korean NGO started volunteer activities for Vietnamese survivors. Through those activities, some survivors have been healed, and for the sake of the Korean NGO, the memory of Ha My, which can never become official memory, is preserved in Vietnam.