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Nakasone Attempted to Broker China-South Korea Rapprochement (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)—Then Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro attempted to mediate the normalization of diplomatic ties between China and South Korea when he met in 1986 with Hu Yaobang, the Communist Party of China's leader at the time, according to Japanese diplomatic documents released on Wednesday. But Hu showed a negative attitude toward the proposed rapprochement with Seoul d…

SDF Could Be Used to Rescue Japanese in South Korea: Inada (News)

Tokyo, April 18 (Jiji Press)—Tokyo would consider using the Self-Defense Forces to rescue Japanese nationals staying in South Korea in the event of an emergency on the Korean Peninsula, Defense Minister Inada Tomomi said Tuesday. Japan would consider applying the SDF law to take protective measures for Japanese nationals abroad and transport them back to Japan if it becomes difficult for them t…

Timeline for August 2016

Emperor Akihito expresses a desire to abdicate in a video message and Japan wins a record number of medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. These are the leading news stories of August 2016.

Surprise Agreement on Comfort Women Issue and the Blowback in South KoreaRoh Daniel

December 2015 was a historic month for the relationship between Japan and South Korea. December 18 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two countries, and one week later, on December 25, Japan’s foreign minister suddenly announced that he planned to visit South Korea. Following a meeting between him and his South Korean counterpart in Seoul on Decembe…

The Roots and Realities of Japan’s Cyber-NationalismFuruya Tsunehira

The prevalence of anti-Korean and anti-Chinese hate speech on Japanese websites has raised concerns about the spread of a virulent strain of right-wing cyber-nationalism in Japan. Furuya Tsunehira traces the rise of Japan’s “Internet right-wingers” and dispels some myths about their identity and potential impact.

Tokyo’s Multiplying Ethnic Enclaves

South Korean soccer fans drew people and attention to Tokyo's Koreatown in Shin-Ōkubo during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. In the years since then, Japan's capital has seen a proliferation of foreign communities.

The Long Road to Reconciliation in East AsiaKawashima Shin

The seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II is now the subject of much discussion. Here in Japan the media has been full of references to four terms in this connection: “aggression,” “colonial rule,” “deep remorse,” and “apology.” These are key terms regarding Japan’s actions in the years before and during World War II that appeared in the statements issued by Prime Minister Murayama T…

The Abe Statement: A Balancing Act That Leaves Work to Be DoneAndrew Gordon

The statement issued by the government of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō on the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II in Asia is far longer than those by Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi in 1995 and Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō 10 years later. And despite Abe’s stated desire to focus on the future, the statement overwhelmingly dwells on the past. These two facts reflect how challenging…

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…

Japan and South Korea: Time to Build a New RelationshipKimura Kan

In addition to being the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, 2015 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the normalization of ties between Japan and South Korea. The half century since 1965 has brought major changes in international relations, and the old bilateral framework is no longer functioning properly. Korea specialist Kimura Kan offers an overview of the problems and some ideas for mending the relationship.

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