Wednesday, 30 January 2019 00:00

Signs of Better Japanese-Korea Relations

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After the melting of South Korea's relations with North Korea, Japan seems to be trying to improve its relationship with North Korea. Although still a discourse, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to discuss a number of issues between the two countries. Shinzo Abe's wish was expressed in an official forum, namely the opening of the Parliament session last Monday. Shinzo Abe said he would immediately meet Kim Jong-Un to encourage the start of a new phase of relations between the two countries. One that will become a priority according to Abe is the restoration of diplomatic relations. There is also the issue  of two Japanese citizens who were traveling to North Korea kidnapping. Furthermore the Japanese Prime Minister said that his  planned  visit to North Korea was an effort to normalize diplomatic normalizationship. Shinzo Abe's statement is very different from what he affirmed with a strong tone last year and a threat to North Korea.

The two countries have been hostile toward each other  since the end of the Japanese aggression on the Korean Peninsula during the second world war. Efforts to end  the hostility  were carried out in the 90s through negotiations. But they failed because North Korea demanded that Japan compensate for what it called damage during a period of aggression. While Japan insisted on asking North Korea to stop nuclear tests before compensation was given. Tensions between the two countries after the negotiations that suffered a deadlock have escalated due to the kidnapping of some Japanese citizens who visited North Korea, allegedly by North Korean agents. Pyong Yang's government strongly denied it.

Tensions over the issue of kidnapping were softened by news that Pyong Yang would release a Japanese tourist, as reported  by the official North Korean government news agency KCNA. It was said the arrest of a Japanese tourist by the North Korean authorities was caused by accusations that the man  had videotaped one of North Korea's military facilities.

Whether the statement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the possibility of   the release of the  Japanese citizen detained in North Korea are signs   for the resumption of relations between the two countries, are  still awaiting further processing. When the recovery of the relationship can be realized, there will certainly be geopolitical changes in Asia, especially in East Asia.

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