Japan should admit wartime crimes, Russia's relationship with the Middle East, supporting Pakistan's poor, Korean relations, Palestinians must unify

A round-up of global commentary for the April 6, 2015 weekly magazine.

Ahn Young-joon/AP
(From right), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida pose during the 7th trilateral foreign ministers' meeting in Seoul, South Korea, March 21, 2015.

China Daily / Beijing
Seventy years after WWII, Japan needs spirit of reconciliation
“Only through profound reflection on the aggression it launched against China can Japan possibly regain the trust of the Chinese people and enjoy a bright future in its ties with its neighbor...,” states an editorial. “Despite the peaceful development road Japan embarked on after World War II, there have always been political forces within Japan who stubbornly refuse to even admit its wartime crimes.... Yet the remarks made by [former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi] Murayama in 1995, in which he apologized for the ‘tremendous damage and suffering’ Japan caused to Asian people, helped repair Japan’s ties with its neighbors and also raised its international reputation.... The positive impact of Murayama’s reflection on the past demonstrates that Japan’s present leaders should have the courage to do the same and face up to their country’s inglorious past.... Only in this way can Japan improve its ties with neighbors and contribute to East Asia’s stability.”

The Moscow Times / Moscow
Middle East is keeping a cautious eye on Russia
“The Middle East’s relationship with Russia has been remarkable over the past month,” writes Theodore Karasik, an analyst based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. “A number of events are notable [including] Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s visit to the IDEX 2015 global arms fair in Abu Dhabi as a snub to Russia.... Poroshenko’s visit ... surprised many Arab officials, with claims that the Americans were behind the Ukrainian leader’s visit. Arab officials noted that Poroshenko is seeking help with obtaining lethal anti-tank missiles for the Ukrainian armed forces. So far the Middle East has been pretty quiet about events in Ukraine.... Arabs hope that the rift between the West and Moscow opens a window of opportunity for investment cooperation and also for increased coordination in regional politics.”

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan
Policy power plays overlook needs of the poor
“Countries prosper where state policies in different domains cohere together,” writes Niaz Murtaza, a political and development economist. “In Pakistan, at least half a dozen powerful external and internal entities control different policy domains, resulting in mutually conflicting policies. Thus, Pakistan is experiencing class-based, ethnic, institutional and related ideological conflicts. Until a set of cooperating and pro-poor groups attain control over different policy domains, chances of immediate development remain bleak.”

Korea JoonGAng Daily / Seoul, South Korea
Finding peace between South and North Korea
“Shaky peace persists between South and North Korea...,” states an editorial. “There are many reasons to improve inter-Korean relations. First of all, it helps broaden our diplomatic space in Northeast Asia where inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation has fallen into the vortex of distrust and confrontation. Improved ties will offer economic opportunities to our businesses while reducing North Korea’s over-reliance on China for survival. It could also encourage our diplomacy to turn the North into a denuclearized state. The government must lay the cornerstone for a new approach linking the establishment of a peace system in the peninsula and denuclearization of North Korea.”

The Daily Star / Beirut, Lebanon
A plea for Palestinians to unite
“Now that it is clear the new Israeli government will be more hawkish than ever, and less interested in Palestinian interests, it is time for the international community and the Middle East, but most importantly the Palestinians themselves, to get behind a unified strategy...,” states an editorial. “[T]he Palestinians ... must develop ... one strategy to seek their legitimate rights and, ultimately, statehood. This can be done through diplomacy and U.N. resolutions, but will first require the Palestinians coming together, getting their house in order and developing clear strategies.”

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