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A Solution to the ROK-Japan Relations: Can Korea-Japan Relations Be Made Right?
2020-04-29 View : 216 JIN Chang Soo

A Solution to the ROK-Japan Relations: Can Korea-Japan Relations Be Made Right?


 

[Sejong Policy Brief] No. 2020-03

Dr. JIN Chang Soo

Senior Research Fellow,

The Sejong Institute

jincs@sejong.org

 

Executive Summary

 

Inter-governmental Dialogue: Changed Attitude But No Difference in Contents

 

South Korea and Japan recognized the necessity of communication.

Seoul has demanded Japan to withdraw export regulations showing GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) as a bargaining chip, while Tokyo has urged South Korea to resolve the forced labor issue. However, it is a difficult situation to find a solution to the issues related to forced labor.

 

The Era of Moon and Abe: Changes Seen in the ROK-Japan Relations

 

A Total Collapse of the Premises of South Korea’s Japan Policy: The Reversal of Offender and Victim

Benefits of Anti-Japan and Anti-Korea in Domestic Politics

A Change in Strategy: A Decline in the ROK-US-Japan Trilateral Cooperation

 

Scenarios to Solve the Forced Labor Issue and Its Limitations

 

Possible Scenarios

1) Abandonment: Further deterioration of Korea-Japan Relations

2) Compromise: Establishment of fund or a proposal suggested by Moon Hee-sang

3) Ways toward civil reconciliation

4) Political decision to renounce reparations against Japan

5) A settlement at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

 

Compliance with the Treaty, Respect for the Judiciary, Historical Reconciliation (Apology) and Dilemma in the ROK-Japan Relations

 

Has a Fundamental Change for the Improvement of the ROK-Japan Relations Happened?

 

Absence of Influence from Interest Parties

A Change in Strategy: A Decline in the ROK-US-Japan Cooperation

Limited Role of the US

 

Prospects of and Solutions to the ROK-Japan Relations

 

Diversification of Communication Channels

Measures to Control: Freeze Plan

Negotiation for a Plan B

Re-evaluation of Mutual Interests and Strategic Values of the ROK-Japan Relations

 

 

※ Translator’s note: This is a summarized unofficial translation of the original paper which was written in Korean. All references should be made to the original paper.

※ This article is written based on the author’s personal opinions and does not reflect the views of the Sejong Institute.