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The focus of this volume is on how transitional societies—those experiencing a transition from a repressive regime to a more democratic society governed by the rule of law—in North and Southeast Asia have responded to, or might respond to, allegations of gross human rights violations by the preceding or extant regimes. Authors from Korea, Cambodia, and the Philippines comment on their country's experience of transitional justice, while others from Indonesia, Burma, and China shed light on the prospects for transitional justice should reform or a regime change occur in the country. A final piece on Japan's struggle to acknowledge and compensate World War II "comfort women"offers a perspective on accountability and moral responsibility for past abuses that transcend a single country.
Introduction: Transitional Justice in East Asia and its Impact on Human Rights
Authors comment on their country's experience of transitional justice, as well as shed light on the prospects for transitional justice should reform or a regime change occur in their country.
Bringing Justice to an Unjustified Past in Korea
With the recent verdicts against two former presidents accused of human rights abuses and corruption, Korea now appears as a harbinger of democracy and justice for its neighboring Asian nations.
The Sensitive Question of Transitional Justice in Indonesia
Andreas Harsono examines whether Indonesian President Suharto would take the risk of stepping down for democracy and allow himself to be prosecuted for human rights violations of the past.
Elusive Promise: Transitional Justice in the Philippines
The Philippine case demonstrates the challenges of transitional justice even in a country where a new democratic government was brought into existence through massive popular support.
Human Rights and the Cambodian Past: In Defense of Peace Before Justice
Kassie Neou and Jeffrey C. Gallup detail how the transitional government has handled the human rights abuses of the past, particularly the Khmer Rouge and its leaders.
A Reassessment of Peace and Justice in Cambodia
His Excellency Kem Sokha discusses transitional justice, as he focuses on the greatest violator of human rights in Cambodian history: the infamous Khmer Rouge.
Ethnic Reconciliation and Political Reform Before Justice in Burma
Maran La Raw questions whether the governmental framework proposed by the future transitional government is capable of resolving the ethnic and political problems that have bred division to date.
Post-Deng China: Justice with Chinese Characteristics
Ping Yu analyzes post-Deng Xiaoping China and how it has dealt with justice. Yu also touches on Japan's execution of justice with regards to "comfort women."