Verdruss statt Feierlaune

Japan und Südkorea am Vorabend des 50. Jahrestags der Aufnahme diplomatischer Beziehungen

  • Nadia Galati (Autor/in)


Even though Japan and South Korea share the same interests in a number of areas, their record of political cooperation has been repeatedly marred by conflicts. Controversial subjects concerning the legacy of Japanese colonialism in Korea in particular obstruct significant progress in their otherwise fruitful relations; these historical issues range from territorial disputes to conflicts over Japanese textbooks and demands for apologies, among other things. Furthermore, the two countries’ relations with the great powers in Northeast Asia, i.e., the USA and China, add to their differences: Japan intends to intensify its alliance with the US, fueling Korean concerns over Japanese military ambitions, whereas South Korea is keen on maintaining good relations with both states. With nationalist Premier Abe and unyielding President Park leading their nations, alienation and mistrust have continued to persist to this day. Differences in the perception of the South Korean and Japanese public over whether the past has been sufficiently dealt with reflect the highly diverse standpoints of their governments. The lack of genuine reconciliation after almost 50 years of having established diplomatic relations has thus proved to be a serious obstacle to Japanese-Korean cooperation and to good regional relations.