PARTY POLITICS AND CHANGING DIPLOMATIC PRIORITIES: JAPAN-SOUTH KOREAN RELATIONS INTO THE 21ST CENTURY
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractJapan-South Korean relations have been consistently hindered by political and social reminders regarding their shared history that includes Japan’s violent occupation of Korea in the 20th century. However, relations had been improving into the 21st century until now, where positive relations and cooperation appear to be at a standstill regardless of the expectation that they would have grown closer given current events. This paper explains the motivations for the lack of a fully realized cooperative relationship between the two nations using the following explanations: dysfunctional political parties in South Korea benefits politically from pushing emotional anti-Japan rhetoric to a typically disaffected voting base; Japan is no longer viewed as being as critical an economic partner compared to China; and this anti-Japan rhetoric has no substantial pushback or reaction from the Japanese government and public.