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Document Type

Article

Abstract

In recent history there has been a move to making public apologies from a variety of countries and political leaders. Kevin Rudd apologised to the Australian Aborigines, Stephen Harper to the First Nations peoples of Canada and the US Congress and Senate to Native Americans and African-Americans for slavery. In the 2000s Germany apologised to the Herero and Nama people of Namibia for the genocide perpetrated on them at the start of the 20th century. However, the apology to the Jewish people from subsequent German governments after World War II (WWII) was probably the most challenging of all. The iconic (kniefall) picture of Chancellor Willie Brandt kneeling at the monument to victims of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising summed up a genuine and heartfelt remorse that Germany had for its treatment of the East Europeans and the Jews in particular. In contrast, there is one nation, Japan, unable to construct an apology apparently sincere or wholehearted enough to satisfy, especially China, but also South Korea and other Asian countries.

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