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Can Korea and Japan survive issues of history?

10 0 0
30.11.2021
By Ahn Ho-young

Korea's Supreme Court rendered its final ruling on the case brought by victims of forced labor during the Japanese occupation of Korea against Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Corp. in October, 2018. Since then, relations between Seoul and Tokyo have been in a deep freeze.

Japan insists that Korea is not complying with international law, in particular the Claims Agreement concluded between the two countries in 1965. The Korean government counters that it has to respect the ruling of the independent court here.

It was against such a backdrop that the Japanese government imposed an embargo ― that impacted Korean companies ― on the export of essential parts for manufacturing semiconductors, a key export item for Korea, in July, 2019. Several months later, the South Korean government responded by declaring that it would suspend the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) agreement between the two countries as a countermeasure against the Japanese embargo on semiconductor parts.

Several Japanese officials and politicians sought my views on the suspension of the GSOMIA agreement at the time. I said I was deeply concerned and disappointed by Korean government's action. I swiftly added that I had been equally concerned and disappointed by the action taken by the Japanese government earlier in July.

This was because the Japanese action violated a delicate firewall existing........

© The Korea Times


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