Emeritus Professor Haruki Wada of Tokyo University launched a petition called “Is South Korea an enemy of Japan?” July last year with other Japanese scholars, urging the Japanese government to lift the export ban to South Korea on three key high-tech materials.
“The real problems still remain although the relations between the two countries have turned a corner considering Prime Minister Shinzo Abe admitted South Korea is an important neighboring country that shares values and strategic interests with Japan,” he said in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo on Wednesday when asked about how the bilateral relations have changed since the petition. “Japan should not see South Korea as an enemy.”
Professor Wada’s campaign, which was initiated by him and other 75 Japanese scholars in July last year following the export ban calling for the improvement of the bilateral relations, received 9,463 signatures by the end of August.
Concerned about the liquidation of Japanese companies’ assets as a result of the South Korean Supreme Court’s ruling, he is now calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Abe, a stronger slogan than “Is South Korea an enemy of Japan?” Speaking of rumors of Prime Minster Abe’s health condition, he said it is inevitable for him to resign before his term ends if he is not well. “A new prime minister will have to rebuild the relations between Seoul and Tokyo,” he stressed.