S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Institute for Japanese Studies(일본연구소) Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies vol.6 no.1(2020)
John Foster Dulles’s Beliefs and the Birth of Republic of Korea-Japan Relations
- Kim, Soongbae
- Issue Date
- Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.6 No.1, pp. 43-66
- John Foster Dulles; ROK-Japan relations; Treaty of Versailles; San Francisco Peace Treaty; War or Peace
- This article is a revised and translated version of the author’s Korean article “Chon P’osŭt’ŏ Tŏllesŭ ŭi shinnyŏm kwa Hanil kwan’gye ŭi yanggasŏng,” published in Kukche chŏngch’i nonch’ŏng [Korean journal of international relations] 57(2) (2017), with the permission of Han’guk Kukche Chŏngch’i Hakhoe [Korean Association Of International Studies].
- This paper analyzes the personal political beliefs of John Foster Dulles which were defined by his Christian faith and anti-communist convictions. It illuminates the significance of Dulles’s belief system relative to his influence in stimulating relations between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan after World War II. Dulles, who had personal experience of Chinese politics and international relations, envisioned a regional order in East Asia centered on Japan following the 1949 communist revolution in China. Although he considered Japan the most important state in the region, he advocated for aid to the ROK as it was also part of the regional bloc of pro-US countries.
Dulles’s emphasis on a proactive role in East Asia was consistent with the US approach to international affairs that was dominant in the late nineteenth century. This paper draws on resources such as Dulles’s book War or Peace, to measure the influence of his religious faith and his relative concern with colonialism and communism. While he contributed to the formation of stable relations between the ROK and Japan as sovereign states, Dulles was also responsible for the continued projection of the legacy of Japanese colonization on bilateral relations between the two nations.