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Japan, Korea Participate in First Summit Since 2012

On March 25, trilateral talks among the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States were held in The Hague. Convened at the request of US President Barack Obama, the talks were the first formal meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and South Korean President Park Geun-hye since the two took office. Will this prove to be a step toward a more lasting thaw in relations between these neighbors? Here we trace some of the notable recent developments that led to this stage.

Eurasian Diplomacy in Japan, 1997–2001Tōgō Kazuhiko

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of China in the 1990s, Japan’s leaders recognized the need for a more independent foreign policy adapted to the realities of the post–Cold War era. “Eurasian diplomacy” played a crucial role in this transition, as related by a former top Foreign Ministry official closely involved in the policy’s development and implementation under three successive LDP prime ministers.

Korean Courts Order Japanese Firms to Compensate Wartime Laborers: Background to the RulingsKokubun Noriko

South Korean courts have recently issued several rulings ordering Japanese corporations to compensate wartime forced laborers. Tsukuba University Professor Kokubun Noriko examines the background to these rulings.

Why Can’t Seoul and Tokyo Get Along?Kimura Kan

The current severe chill in Japan–South Korea relations contrasts with the relative warmth when Abe Shinzō started his first term as prime minister in 2006. The causes of the difference lie in the changes that have occurred in South Korea’s circumstances in the interim.

“Hafu” Filmmaker Spotlights Bicultural Japan

The recent film Hafu documents the lives of five bicultural Japanese. Nippon.com spoke to one of the film’s two directors, Nishikura Megumi, to learn more about the film and the motivation behind it.

The Strategic US-Japan-Korea Triangle: Emerging Perils and Prospects for CooperationKent Calder

Developments over the past two decades have made the challenge of trilateral cooperation more difficult for the United States and its two Northeast Asian partners, Japan and South Korea. Washington should promote major initiatives to improve the three-way relationships.

A More Confident Japan in a Strong Alliance: Michael Green Speaks

The international scene in East Asia remains fluid, but the new government in place in Tokyo is showing an energetic approach to economic policy and a more stable hand on the tiller of diplomacy. We spoke to the international affairs expert Michael Green about his views on Japanese politics and the country’s place in the regional and global picture.

Japan and South Korea: Time for a RebootHosoya Yuichi

On the night of September 5, 2013, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea chatted briefly just before an official dinner held to welcome delegates to the Group of Twenty summit in St. Petersburg. Since taking office in February, President Park had previously avoided holding formal talks with Abe, who has been back in office since December 2012. The Korean position is …

For Abe, the Neighbors Remain Hard to ReachSuzuki Yoshikatsu

Prime Minister Abe arrives in Belfast on June 16 to attend the 2013 G8 summit. Photo credit: AP/Aflo Since he took office in late December 2012, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has been conducting his strategic diplomacy in a manner that seems to show the consistent application of two rules. One is to avoid compromising on issues involving sovereignty or history in handling Japan’s relationships with …

Behind the New Abe Diplomacy: An Interview with Cabinet Advisor Yachi Shōtarō (Part One)

Abe Shinzō’s whirlwind diplomacy has covered most of Southeast Asia and Oceania—not to mention the United States—in the past seven months. But can it repair badly frayed ties between Japan and its closest neighbors? In an exclusive interview, veteran foreign affairs official and government insider Yachi Shōtarō offers his candid views on the essence and efficacy of Abe’s “bird’s eye” approach to foreign policy.

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