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Community-Focused Apologia in International Affairs: Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's Apology

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Abstract:

The author examines community-focused apologies within international affairs. Specifically, he argues that this form of rhetoric functions as a rhetorical first step to healing relationships that have been hurt by the transgressions one group committed against another. In international affairs, transnational actors, typically nation-states through their political leaders, articulate community-focused apologia to mend relations between peoples, which may serve build a common path toward peace and deepen relationships between these actors. To illustrate this idea, he uses Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's 1995 apology for crimes Japan committed during its wartime past. Murayama's apology was an important step in mending relations between Japan and its neighbors. This article provides a better understanding as to the motives and options rhetors may use in apologizing for past injustices and serves to broaden the way we conceptualize the rhetorical genre of apologia.

Keywords: Japan; Tomiichi Murayama; community-focused apologia; international affairs; rebuilding community; rhetorical motive

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10646170500326590

Affiliations: Department of Communication, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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