Historical Perceptions brings together thirteen Korean and Japanese scholars who address the key issues that impede efforts to move beyond the past and advance their relations. The volume aims, in the words of editor Dae-Song Hyun, to “improve bilateral relations between Korea and Japan with a forward-looking attitude,” and to offer guidance for “conflict resolution and international cooperation” (p. 33). It further seeks to inform non-Japanese or Korean readers on these issues by providing for them an “introductory book in English on Korea-Japan relations” (p. 11).

The authors' coverage of their topics is, as suggested by the subtitle, fundamental: to introduce readers to the “origins and points” of the areas of controversy. For example, the chapters on Dokto/Takeshima—there are four of them—review premodern exchanges between Japan and Korea over the islands' ownership, the Meiji regime's decision to incorporate the territory, and postwar negotiations and claims made by South Korea and...

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