Seoul Toned Down Opposition to SDF Dispatch in 1990s: Records


Seoul, April 15 (Jiji Press)--The South Korean Foreign Ministry toned down its opposition to Japan's overseas dispatch of Self-Defense Forces members out of consideration for the United States, declassified South Korean diplomatic records from mainly 1991 showed Friday.

Seoul at the time struggled to form its stance on Japan's plan to pass legislation on cooperation with U.N. peacekeeping and other operations, which enabled the full-fledged overseas dispatch of SDF members.

The legislation, devised in response to the Persian Gulf War, passed the Diet, Japan's parliament, in June 1992.

South Korea initially opposed SDF foreign dispatch, from its position as a country that fell victim to Japanese militarism before and during World War II.

But the country's then ambassador to Japan reported to the ministry in May 1991 that China was attaching importance to its ties with Japan as Beijing's relationship with the United States was becoming strained.

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Jiji Press