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Asia Update

September 2015

Asia-related activities of Bertelsmann Stiftung and insights into important developments in the region.





A Conversation with Ian Buruma

The Second World War ended 70 years ago, but still casts a long shadow, especially in Asia, where unresolved questions of war guilt and crimes are still threatening political stability. Unlike in Europe, East Asian countries have not yet reached a politically accepted consensus on the atrocities of the Second World War. Instead, history is being used as an instrument of national – and mostly nationalistic – politics. Asia’s rulers do not care about historical truth, but instead “use history to legitimize the political status quo”, as Buruma pointed out in an interview. Read more and watch the interview here


Japan's Political Dynasties

Honorable Families

Closed ranks between elites were once an essential part of the model that allowed Japan to rise to economic power. But this erstwhile recipe for success, which enabled Japan to catch up economically in the post-war period, is proving to be a hindrance for a country in need of restructuring its economy and rebalancing its social interests. Bernhard Bartsch writes on Japan’s post-war tradition of dynastic leadership, and the challenges it faces going forward. Read the German article here



Chinese-German Relations

Germany and China are strong partners. More than 5,000 German companies operate in China. Chinese students represent the biggest group of exchange students in Germany. The two governments have set up 60 mechanisms for bilateral dialogue between the two countries. This infographic shows what German-Chinese relations are all about, from the first trade-ship and diplomatic contact to today’s close interconnectedness in the areas of business, technology, politics and culture. And yes, German-Chinese relations are also about beer, pandas and Beijing duck. Bertelsmann Stiftung offers a timeline portraying bilateral ties here.



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Dr. Peter Walkenhorst

Senior Project Manager


Bertelsmann Stiftung

Carl-Bertelsmann-Str. 256

33311 Gütersloh


Tel: +49 5241 81-81172




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