Can Japan-Korea Relations Resolve Historical Disputes?Breaking News
tags: war crimes, Japan, Korea, World War 2, Japanese history, Asian History, Korean history, Forced Labor
When it comes to South Korea and Japan, historical disputes have long clouded the relationship. The two countries have not had a state visit since 2011 because they couldn’t resolve territorial claims over a set of islets. They’ve argued vehemently over the Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery for Japan’s wartime military.
But South Korea appears ready to make nice.
In one of the most significant moves to improve ties between the two countries, the government of South Korea’s president, Yoon Suk Yeol, announced on Monday that South Korea would no longer demand that Japanese companies compensate their Korean victims of forced labor during World War II. Instead, Seoul will create a government-run fund that it will use to pay the victims directly.
The move was seen as a clear indication that improving relations had become a greater priority between Seoul and Tokyo as Washington urged its two most steadfast allies in Asia to work closer together to help it face off with an increasingly assertive China and North Korea. President Biden called the deal “a groundbreaking new chapter of cooperation and partnership between two of the United States’ closest allies.”
Victims and their supporters in South Korea described the announcement as a “humiliating” concession made by Mr. Yoon in his overzealous drive to please Washington and improve ties with Japan, which colonized Korea from 1910 to 1945.
Their main concern is that the money would not come directly from Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel, as stipulated by a 2018 South Korean Supreme Court decision. Both companies were among the Japanese businesses that relied on Korean forced labor during the war and were named in the lawsuit brought before the Supreme Court. South Korea hoped that Japanese companies would contribute to its fund, adding that Tokyo would not oppose if they made voluntary donations.
“I am not going to accept money even if I have to starve,” Yang Geum-deok, 94, one of the victims, told reporters on Monday, saying that she rejected the government’s solution because it was not compensation from Japan.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Debt Ceiling Law is now a Tool of Partisan Political Power; Abolish It
- Amitai Etzioni, Theorist of Communitarianism, Dies at 94
- Kagan, Sotomayor Join SCOTUS Cons in Sticking it to Unions
- New Evidence: Rehnquist Pretty Much OK with Plessy v. Ferguson
- Ohio Unions Link Academic Freedom and the Freedom to Strike
- First Round of Obama Administration Oral Histories Focus on Political Fault Lines and Policy Tradeoffs
- The Tulsa Race Massacre was an Attack on Black People; Rebuilding Policies were an Attack on Black Wealth
- British Universities are Researching Ties to Slavery. Conservative Alumni Say "Enough"
- Martha Hodes Reconstructs Her Memory of a 1970 Hijacking
- Jeremi Suri: Texas Higher Ed Conflict "Doesn't Have to Be This Way"
- New transcript of Ayn Rand at West Point in 1974 shows she claimed “savage" Indians had no right to live here just because they were born here
- The Mexican War Suggests Ukraine May End Up Conceding Crimea. World War I Suggests the Price May Be Tragic if it Doesn't
- The Vietnam War Crimes You Never Heard Of