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Osaka to End Sister-City Ties with San Francisco after 60 Years (News)

Osaka, Nov. 23 (Jiji Press)—Osaka Mayor Yoshimura Hirofumi said Thursday the western Japan city will finish by the end of December procedures to end its sister-city relations with San Francisco that have lasted 60 years. In a statement, Yoshimura said it is "deeply regrettable" that San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee on Wednesday authorized the city council's decision to accept the donation of a sta…

Recalled Japanese Envoy Returns to Seoul (News)

Seoul, April 4 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Nagamine Yasumasa, who was withdrawn nearly three months ago over a girl's statue symbolizing so-called comfort women, returned to Seoul on Tuesday night aboard a commercial flight. Before his departure, Nagamine reported his planned return to Prime Minister Abe Shinzō during their meeting at the leader's office in Tokyo in the morn…

Nearly Half of Japanese Expect No Change in Japan–South Korea Ties (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 13 (Jiji Press)—Nearly half of Japanese people think Japan–South Korea relations will remain unchanged following the installation of a girl's statue symbolizing the issue of so-called wartime comfort women in Busan, a Jiji Press poll showed Friday. Asked about the future outlook for bilateral relations in a monthly public opinion poll, 46.9% of respondents, the largest proportion, …

Japanese Diplomats Withdrawn from South Korea (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Nagamine Yasumasa returned to Japan on Monday afternoon, as part of Tokyo's measures to protest against the installation of a "comfort women" statue in the South Korean city of Busan. The Japanese Foreign Ministry also called back Morimoto Yasuhiro, Japanese consul-general in Busan, earlier in the day. Nagamine is expected to stay…

Japan to Temporarily Recall Envoy to South Korea over Girl’s Statue (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)—Japan will temporarily recall its ambassador to South Korea, Nagamine Yasumasa, in protest at the installation of a girl's statue symbolizing Korean comfort women in front of the Japanese consulate-general in Busan, southern South Korea, Japan's top government spokesman said Friday. Morimoto Yasuhiro, the consul-general in Busan, will also be recalled temporarily, Ch…

Ceremony Held to Unveil Comfort Woman Statue in Busan (News)

Busan, Dec. 31 (Jiji Press)—An unveiling ceremony was held on Saturday night for a girl's statue symbolizing the issue of so-called wartime comfort women, which was set up outside of the Japanese consulate-general in Busan, southern South Korea, by a civic group on the previous day. It is the second such statue erected in front of a Japanese diplomatic mission in South Korea, following one that…

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.

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…

Seventy Years On: The Abe Statement

A day ahead of the August 15, 2015, seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō issued his statement to mark the milestone date. The statement spells out the Abe administration’s historical take on Japan’s role in the war and its seven decades as a pacifist nation since then, touching on the vocabulary many viewed as required in any statement released on this occa…

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