politics

Japan-South Korea rift weighs on U.S. push in Asia

19 Comments
By MATTHEW PENNINGTON

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19 Comments
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Under the President Park Geun-hye, South Korea's economy is having a hard time losing Japanese customers, tourists and investiment. She is instigating hatred of people against Japan. Blaming other countries is the last thing the leader of a country should do. About historical problems, if it goes too far, it only invites negative results since it hurts the pride of the people of other coutries. At the same time, we Japanese must handle the issue sincerely in a humble manner. We ourselves never want to return to our past of repressive days. Japanse people are not positive about prime minister Abe's restorative stance.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The Japan-Korea relationship will sort itself out and is sorting itself out mostly without the Americans. That is because despite the rhetoric of the pivot and the rebalance to Asia, the Americans are too distracted by problems at home and elsewhere. Moreover, do we really want the Americans in play, saddled by their ignorance and lack of depth in their representatives. Ambassador Kennedy, while nice and innocuous, is essentially a non-factor. Ambassador Lippert, although energetic and knowledgeable, is essentially stuck with the intractable problem of trying to get something going to deal with the North Korean threat, and neither Seoul nor Washington has the answer.

The Koreans just hosted a good trilateral Foreign Ministers Meeting, and there are a lot of good ideas, including bilaterally between Japan and Korea. They can figure it out because both countries have a lot of common challenges, and the context is that they are going to do so as much with Beijing's cooperation as Washington's.

-6 ( +3 / -8 )

Moreover, do we really want the Americans in play, saddled by their ignorance and lack of depth in their representatives.

What rubbish. Whether you like it or not liars, America is very much "in play" since both SK and Japan exist under America's defense umbrella, or did you conveniently forget that? So America has every right to ask both countries to grow up and play nice. Also, if you took even two seconds to think about this situation, the representatives of both SK and Japan, including both Park and Abe are the ones displaying "ignorence and lack of depth". If that were not the case, we would not even be discusing this.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

South Korea's economy is having a hard time losing Japanese customers, tourists and investiment.

lol... Overestimating Japan's economy. Very entertaining. Without South Korea buying Japanese products, Japan's trade deficit would be far worse.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Without South Korea buying Japanese products, Japan's trade deficit would be far worse.

And what makes you think it wouldn't equally hurt Korea? They are major trading partners of each other.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"Richard Lawless, a former undersecretary of defense for the Asia-Pacific, said he sees little chance of improvement in Japan-South Korea relations in the next two years."

What does he exactly mean, "in the next two year"? Does he mean that the two countries' relations will not improve much until Abe quits? If so, he is probably right.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They can figure it out because both countries have a lot of common challenges, and the context is that they are going to do so as much with Beijing's cooperation as Washington's.

I respect your reasonable position most of the time, liarsnfools, but I don't think any intelligent South Korean or Japanese sees it this way. The US is in East Asia to stay, and we have built up the necessary alliances to keep it that way.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

China has far more influences in the Republic of Korea,both political and economic arena. The south Koreans has strong US resentment can be reflected by the recent assaulting of US ambassador. If the US is keen to let Abe to speak in US congress is really a worst decision, Abe is a rightist figure even he confess everything the imperial japan has done wrong it is still not OK. You know those people who support Abe were those families who committed war crimes 70 years ago and that cant be changed

-2 ( +2 / -3 )

The American officials do not buy into the concept that they must be involved more than they are now in "mediating" this bad Korea-Japan relationship. The reasons are stark. At first, they bought into the notion that there was a "good Abe" who was a pragmatist who unlike the "bad Abe" would not push his nationalist revisionist agenda, and the Americans could then push Park into softening her stance in the name of alliances. But December 2013 proved the American officials wrong when Abe went to Yasukuni while reinforcing Park's negative view of Abe. This is the same bunch of folks in the American government now more or less, and while they think they have Abe back on the "good Abe" path, they are never sure because of December 2013, and while they have tried to reassure Park, she remains skeptical, and with some reason.

In the mean time though, there are folks in Japan and Korea who think things have gotten out of hand, and they are trying their best to get things back on track. Thus there are Koreans moderating Park in Korea, and Japanese doing the same with Abe in Japan, and the harder work is actually with Abe in my opinion because it is very ideological with him-- the war criminals are not criminals under Japanese law, and they were waging war like the West was doing, and they were on a mission to rescue Asia from western imperialism and communism, too.

On China: everybody is playing a hedging game with China, including the Americans and the Japanese and the Koreans. Even though the Koreans and Japanese are putting their chips in the American security architecture, they also must play in a game in which China is a major player, with increasingly a lot of smarts as well as a lot of fumbling overbearing attitudes. AIIB was a great out maneuvering of the Americans while building artificial island bases in the South China Sea based on a mythical 9-dashed line underscores the bully image that China had. This does not mean the Americans are leaving any time soon nor that the Koreans and Japanese are not smart to keep their security chips in the American pot, but it does mean that China is in a position to reshape the geopolitical landscape in Asia, and unless we want to fight them, we had better figure out ways to strategically cooperate with them. That is why I said that the Koreans and the Japanese have to figure out how to cooperate with Beijing as much as with Washington.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We Japanese need to face up to the atrocities and the injustice commited by the Japanese military in the name of Emperor Hirohito during World War 2. The miltary tried to kill the Emperor when he attempted to contact the Allied military to make peace and to spare Japanese citizens from the horrors of atomic bombs.

PM Abe should stick to the apologies given in the past because they are acceptable to Korea and China. All the neighbors, Japan, the 2 Koreas, China and Russia need to have good relations with each other. This will make the role of US and China as ally unnecessary and irrelevant.

Japanese can learn a lot from the British tactic of "divide and conquer" in building its empires. Foreign countries want the East Asian neighbors to antagonize each other so they can manipulate them to further their own national interests.

We need to have the old wounds from World War 2 heal and be forgotten, just as Germany has done with its neighbors. There are millions of government and non-government documents, videos, and photographs, etc. in museums, archives, and so on which prove the atrocities, etc.. The press can do their duty by publishing some of these evidence, because the Japanese government probably will not.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

When Japan began to worship the Western world and its technology, contempt toward Asian nations emerged. The notion that the West was civilized and the Asian nations were barbarous became stronger when Japan colonized Taiwan and Korea. Basically, the attitude has not changed much.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All the neighbors, Japan, the 2 Koreas, China and Russia need to have good relations with each other.

Who want good relations with bad neigbors who want only apology and money?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Any country that doesn't want to screw it's tradespeople by not apologizing for something it has done wrong.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

South Korea is siding with China. President Park's resolve seems firm from the begining. She said SK's anti-Japan stance won't change one thousand years to come.

USA still seems to have hope, but there is nothing Japan and US can do any more.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

& what can Japan do? Nuthing. That's what. Politics= Power. Nothing more. "Seijiken"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Park has sided SKorea with China and in the future Japan will too. Both countries have taken what they could from the US and now are going to milk a fresh cow, but they will learn very quickly as did Tibet, China is in for China and don't care about either country but get what it can and will. Bring every Japanese and Korean to their knees and beg forgiveness to the motherland.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

South Korea is siding with China. President Park's resolve seems firm from the begining. She said SK's anti-Japan stance won't change one thousand years to come.

Lie after lie from you. Enough lying. President clearly said, SK‘s position will not change for a 1000 years if Japan doesn‘t address its past. Why lie?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Abe is experience in politics but he may wait for a new face in Washington to get out of impasse from current situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@jerseybiy.... yes USA always mingle with what they see profitable to them. But WHY can't USA MINGLE ASAP to the ESCALATING probems between CHINA and the PHILIPPINES about the DISPUTED ISLAND at SCARBOROUGH SHOAL (Spratly Islands) Communist China is claiming their own and keep on building structures and base. That's what USA should be attending to and be aware of. Japan and Korea can settle their own problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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