For many, Japan is an unrepentant nation that is unwilling to look hard at and make amends for its actions during the first half of the 20th century. This perception is typically contrasted with that of Germany, which spent the same period warring with its neighbors but is largely seen as having come to terms with its past.

Walter F. Hatch, an expert on Asian politics and professor emeritus of government at Colby College in Maine, argues against this assessment in his compact and compelling book, “Ghosts in the Neighborhood.”

Ghosts in the Neighborhood: Why Japan Is Haunted by Its Past and Germany Is Not, By Walter F. Hatch. 192 pages, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PRESS, Nonfiction.