Officials Worried about Moon Toughening Anti-Japan Stance

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 4 (Jiji Press)--Some Japanese government officials are concerned that South Korean President Moon Jae-in may ratchet up his hard-line stance against Japan to divert public attention away from corruption allegations involving a key aide.

"Moon will continue to criticize Japan in a bid to stay in power," a Japanese government official said. "Moon will toughen his stance if his approval ratings fall," a different senior Japanese government official said.

Observers note a number of examples in which South Korean presidents have resorted to an anti-Japan approach to help boost public support.

There are views that Moon's recent decision to exit an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan was intended to defuse criticism of his administration over the scandal.

Asked at a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday about the possibility that Moon could strengthen his anti-Japan stance, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said, "I don't expect the South Korean government to behave that way."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press