This article reconsiders collaboration of the Koreans with the Japanese during the colonial period (1910-1945) in light of the Vichy collaboration with Nazi Germany. French historians have defended the idea that the collaboration of the Vichy regime stemmed in part from a willingness of the French society of the 1930s to reform, anticipating in a way the social transformations in the post-war. Similar views can be held on colonial Korea. Korean intellectuals saw in the Pacific war (1931-1945) an occasion to reform their society and to create a "New order" in eastern Asia. Several eminent intellectuals aspired to establish equality in the peninsula and to play an important role in the construction of a multi-ethnic Japanese empire. The collaborationists, who were representative of the entire ideological spectrum, rationalized their cooperation, hoping that a Japanese victory would result in the radical transformation of Korean society. The logic of colonial Korean collaboration cannot thus be understood without taking into account the different intellectual points of view and the conscience of the crisis in the colonial order.
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