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
□ 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