S. Korean Defense Paper Drops Word Partner to Describe Japan

Politics

Seoul, Feb. 2 (Jiji Press)--South Korea's Ministry of National Defense dropped the word partner to describe Japan in its biennial defense white paper released Tuesday while continuing to call it a neighboring country.

This apparently reflects soured bilateral ties due to incidents, including one in late 2018 in which a South Korean warship directed a radar at a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force patrol plane over the Sea of Japan.

The 2020 defense white paper, the second under the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said Japan is a neighboring country that South Korea should work with not only for their bilateral relations but also for the peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia and the entire world.

In the 2018 report, the ministry said that Japan is a neighboring country that is geographically and culturally close to South Korea and a partner that Seoul should cooperate with for the world peace and prosperity.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said that the country downgraded Japan's status in the latest white paper.

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