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This week marks watershed moment of Korea-Japan relations

This week marks watershed moment of Korea-Japan relations

Posted July. 29, 2019 08:02,   

Updated July. 29, 2019 08:02


This week marking a month of Japan’s export control is likely to be a watershed moment that decides whether the conflict between Korea and Japan grows or not. Diplomats from Korea, Japan and the U.S. will gather at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday. Some project that solutions can be found through diplomatic efforts.

“Some officials in the presidential office have been emphasizing the importance of finding a diplomatic solution within the government,” said a Cheong Wa Dae insider. “There are some changes in Japan’s attitude, which remained silent at the Korean government’s suggestion to talk.” President Moon Jae-in said the conflict should be resolved in a diplomatic way at a luncheon with governors on Wednesday, and Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon suggested Japan to find a solution through diplomatic negotiations on the following day, which can be seen as changes in the situation.

If foreign ministers of Korea, Japan and the U.S. have a meeting at the ARF, it would be the first diplomatic meeting since Japan’s economic retaliation. “The importance of trilateral security cooperation among Korea, the U.S. and Japan is reconfirmed due to a series of provocations by North Korea, China and Russia last week,” a diplomatic source said.

Japan is expected to continue with the economic retaliation as it is most likely to exclude Korea from the “white list” at a Cabinet meeting to be held on Friday. “The government is considering every possible scenario because Japan’s strategy may change again” said a Korean government insider. “We are preparing responses for all scenarios.”

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com · Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com