Koreans pose a difficult challenge for the increasingly nationalist governments in Japan insistent not only on suppressing further criticisms of their country’s conduct in the first half of the twentieth century but also on finding a measure of justification of the past that would revive national pride. To the consternation of many, South Koreans brandish the “history card” prominently when Japan crosses a well-understood line by tinkering with its textbooks or publicizing visits by the prime minister to Yasukuni Shrine, while North Korea uses the harshest language accusing Japan of reviving its imperialist past. Even when the Japanese media at times grew optimistic that a turning point had been reached, negative Korean perceptions were not long diminished. In spite of recurrent public skepticism, Japanese leaders kept looking to the Koreas to jump-start regionalism.