"Polite Ignorance" Seen as Best Way to Deal with S. Korea's Moon: Ex-Japan Defense Chief


Tokyo, June 10 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Monday that "polite ignorance" could be the best way to deal with the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

"I can hardly imagine that Japan-South Korea relations will improve during the administration of Moon," Onodera, now the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's national security research commission chief, said in a lecture held in Tokyo by the Research Institute of Japan, a Jiji Press affiliate.

He was citing various problems caused by South Korea, including a series of South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese firms to pay damages to plaintiffs in wartime labor lawsuits and a South Korean warship's locking of a fire-control radar on a Japanese surveillance plane.

Onodera suggested that exchanges of criticism between the countries will only inflame emotions and make reconciliation difficult.

"If rational opinions emerge in the process of change of government (in South Korea), they would help develop relations that are beneficial for both countries," he said.

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