Home > Hot topics
South Korea
South Korea, Japan’s Unenviable NeighborShigemura Toshimitsu

Tokyo and Seoul have agreed to put the issue of the wartime “comfort women” behind them, with the Japanese government contributing ¥1 billion to a fund supporting the women. But it is uncertain whether the trend toward improved bilateral ties can be sustained in the face of China’s rise and the Korean culture of “black and white” thinking.

Japan in 2015: The Year’s Top Stories

Security legislation passes amid protests, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō makes a statement to mark the seventieth anniversary of the ending of World War II, and Japanese hostages are killed in Syria. A look back on the biggest Japan-related stories of 2015.

Timeline for November 2015

Prime Minister Abe meets with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet makes its maiden flight, and the Osaka Restoration Association enjoys double success in local elections. These are the top Japan-related stories of November 2015.

Pew Survey Sheds Light on Regional Sentiment in Asia-Pacific

In September, the Pew Research Center released the finding of its 2015 Global Attitudes Survey exposing a discrepancy in how Japan is viewed by its Asia-Pacific neighbors. While only 12% in China and 25% in South Korea saw Japan favorably, over 70% of other countries in the region had a positive view.

Interpreting Abe’s War Anniversary Statement

On August 14, 2015, Prime Minister Abe issued a statement on the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Three Nippon.com advisory board members who played key roles in drafting the report on which the statement was based discuss its significance, overseas reaction, and likely impact on East Asian relations.

Meeting Japanese Remorse with Chinese AcceptanceMa Licheng

Chinese commentator Ma Licheng considers the various factors that shaped Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s statement marking the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II and calls for China to be more open-minded in its response to Abe’s words.

Seoul’s Last-Minute Campaign to Derail Japan’s World Heritage BidKimura Kan

The dispute between Japan and South Korea regarding historical perceptions became the source of a major tussle over the bid for inclusion of the “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution” in the World Heritage List. The sites were added to the list, but meanwhile Seoul won international attention for its position on Japan’s wartime conscription of Korean laborers.

Abe Opens a Door with Carefully Crafted War Anniversary StatementDaniel Sneider

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s August 14 statement should be judged, in my view, against two important criteria: whether it shows a genuine effort to reflect upon and draw lessons from Japan’s wartime past; and whether it contributes to the improvement of relations in Northeast Asia and creates opportunities for reconciliation between Japan and China and Korea. The statement advances both of those go…

Timeline for June 2015

A passenger commits suicide by setting himself on fire on the Shinkansen, the Japan Pension Service suffers a massive data leak, and Japan and South Korea mark 50 years since the normalization of diplomatic relations. These are the main news stories for Japan in June 2015.

Looking Ahead to the 2015 Round of Historical AnniversariesKawashima Shin

Years that end in 5 have been the occasion of many key events in Japan’s modern history. Just to cite a few prominent examples, the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed in 1895, ending the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95. Ten years later, in 1905, the Russo-Japanese war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth. World War II ended with Japan’s defeat in 1945. In 1955, the Liberal Democratic Pa…

Video highlights

New series

  • From the editor in chief
  • From our columnists
  • In the news