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Aug. 15 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. How can we understand where Japan has come from, where it is today and where it is going? To answer these questions, it’s important to reflect on just how much the world has changed since Japan’s surrender.

A good place to start is the 70th anniversary in 2015, arguably the low point in Sino-Japanese relations. To mark the occasion, the Advisory Panel on the History of the 20th Century and on Japan’s Role and World Order in the 21st Century released its report Aug. 6. It acknowledged Japan’s aggression in East Asia, writing that Japan “lost sight of the global trends, and caused much harm to various countries, largely in Asia, through a reckless war.”

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