Apology mismatch : An experimental approach to Japan's apologies to Korea

Victoria Wai Lan YEUNG*, Roman DAVID

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Since 1965, Japan has issued numerous apologies to Korea, which however failed to resonate with the Korean public. To investigate this puzzle, this paper analyses the structure of these apologies and empirically examines their reception in Korea. Blatz et al.'s (Political Psychology, 2009, 30, 219) classification of components of political apologies was applied to conduct a qualitative analysis of 63 official apology statements by Japan to Korea and identify the most frequently used components (Study 1). Korean participants (N = 210) were randomly presented with an experimental vignette consisting of a major apology component to examine their psychological responses, and they also ranked the importance of each major apology component (Study 2). Results showed that while Koreans viewed admission of wrongdoing as an essential and the most demanded component of apology, it was paradoxically the least frequent component offered by Japan in reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-317
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date28 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

The research was funded by the Hong Kong Research Grant Council, General Research Fund (13643616) and the Lingnan University internal Direct Grant (DR16A5/101061) given to the second author.

All procedures performed in the reported studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the research ethics committee of Lingnan University.

We thank Professor Jeongwon Park for insightful discussion, Mr. Tam Pui Cheun for providing research assistance, Mr. Eric Kension Yau for editorial assistance, Dr. Kelvin F. H. Lui for providing statistical advice, and Ms. Suyeon Lim, Ms. Jiyoon Kim, and Ms. Hyojin Kim for English-Korean translation and validation.


  • apology
  • experiment
  • Japan
  • Korea


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