It should be clarified that for 16 centuries, relations between Japan and Korea were tightly connected with cultural exchanges, trade, military contradictions, and politics. The available evidence provides a premise to believe that in the period since 1945, these relations are about three states that are North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. After World War II, the Soviet Union began to control North Korea, and the USA began to control South Korea.
Diplomatic relations between South Korean and Japan were established in 1965. At the beginning of the 21st century, the relations between these two states began to spoil. The article focuses on the description of Japanese Korean relationship after WWII up to the 21st century.
Diplomatic Normalization Talks
The available evidence provides a premise to believe that Japan and the Republic of Korea signed the Treaty on Basic Relations on June 22, 1965. This treaty identifies basic diplomatic relations between these countries (Joo 230). In addition to this, the agreements on settlement of issues connected with property and economic cooperation were also singed between Japan and Korea. Therefore, Japan gave $300 million grant on economic, $200 million in loans, and $300 million in loans on private trust. It should be clarified that the policy of the Japanese government was that from the perspective of property problems of war time and individual claims on compensation these problems were solved completely by this agreement (Joo 250).
Policies due to Abductions
In the period from 1977 to 1983, there were abductions of Japanese from Japan by the North Korean agents. Despite the fact that 17 Japanese are recognized officially as being abducted, there were hundreds of victims (Hangstrom 98).
In 2002, the Japanese Prime Minister visited North Korea to meet with North Korea leader. In order to facilitate normalization of relations, Kim Jong-iI admitted that 13 Japanese had been abducted and provided an oral apology. In addition to this, North Korea also demonstrated death certificates of eight people. The available evidence provides a precise to believe that North Korea chose a mistaken strategy, as the Japanese government and public perceived this situation with outrage. Consequently, Japan made attempts to isolate North Korea via cutting trade and exchanges (Hagstrom 138).
Japan-Korea’s Policies with the US
It should be clarified that Moon’s actions might demonstrate that agreement between Korea and Tokyo have never had consent, and they lack legitimacy. The 1965 treaty was singed by Park Chung-hee, and it caused outrage. The US offered Park to launch martial law in response (Seligman and Gramer). In 2015, there was settlement over comfort women, and it was introduced by Park Geun-hye a daughter of Park Chung-hee. The treaty of 1965 was a basis of what is happening now despite the fact that at that time it did not have support (Seligman and Gramer).
In accordance with diplomats, there is a dialogue between two foreign ministries. However, there is no communication between South Korea President Mr Moon and Japan Prime Minister Mr Abe, and the US is not a mediator between these allies. Therefore, it is challenging to find the solution, as two leaders remain in office (Seligman and Gramer).
Present-Day Downward Spiral
Japan colonized Korea in 1910, and hundreds of thousands of Koreans had to serve Japan. As stated above, in 1965, Japan agreed to provide $300 million settlement; however, Japan did not compensate victims of forced labor. Nowadays, there is still a dispute on who should provide these compensations on historical events that became a downward spiral between Japan and South Korea. This downward spiral led to a trade war, massive protests, and boycotts in South Korea.
The current situation is that South Korea mentions that Japan should pay, and Japan underpins that there is the 1965 agreement, and South Korea should pay out these compensations (Kim).
Chongryon and Japan-DPRK Relations
The available evidence provides a premise to believe that there were not formally established diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea. At the same time, there were some diplomatic talks on two agreements with the aim of discussing the problem of kidnapped Japanese and nuclear program of North Korea (Brown and Kingston 132). It seems justified to assume that relations between these states are rather strained, and they are full of tensions and hostility. In accordance with the results of poll conducted by BBC in 2014, 91% of Japanese consider North Korea’s impact as negative, and only 1% have a positive perspective of North Korea (Brown and Kingston 141). Therefore, it can be assumed that this the most negative perception in the world towards North Korea.
Chongryon is the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, and it has a close connection with North Korea. Because there are no diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea, Chongryon might be considered de fact as an embassy (Brown and Kingston 241).
To sum up, the article focused on the description of relationships between Japan and Korea in the period since World War II. It should be clarified that the agreement of 1965 was analyzed in the article. In addition to this, there is also an investigation of cases of abduction of Japanese by North Koreans. Moreover, such problem as paying out compensation Koreans for forced labor is also a dispute between Japan and Korea, as there is no precise understanding on who should do it. Consequently, there is an ongoing economic war between these countries.
- Briwnm, James, and Jeff Kinstron. Japan’s Foreign Relations in Asia. Abingdon-on-Thames, Routledge, 2018.
- Hangstrom, Linus. Identity Change and Foreign Policy: Japan and its ‘Others’. Abingdon-on-Thames, Routledge, 2015.
- Joo, Seung. North Korea’s Foreign Policy under Kim Jong II: New Perspectives. Abingdon-on-Thames, Routledge, 2016.
- Kim, Victoria. Japan, Korea and the Messy Question of how to Pay for Historic Wrongs. Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2019, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-08-17/japan-korea-and-the-tquestion-of-how-to-pay-for-historic-wrongs. Accessed 30 November 2019.
- Seligman, Lara, and Robbie Gramer. Trump Presses Japan to Pay for U. S. Troops. Foreign Policy, 19 Nov. 2019, https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/18/trump-japan-south-korea-pay-united-states-troops-billions-asia-pacific/. Accessed 30 November 2019.