The Judgement of comfort woman and Korea-Japan relationship
Director of the Center for Japanese Studies
The Sejong Institute
The South Korean and Japanese governments committed the act of failing to realize national interests as they were buried in the frame of past history despite the U.S.-China strategic competition. Recently, the two governments held each other's back with the trade restrictions on South Korea from the Japanese government and the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) from the South Korean government, creating a situation that has undermined each country's national interests. It is needless to say that the two states can improve each other's national interests when they oppose the arbitrary power order of super power states based and seek liberal ideology and cooperate as pivotal partners to advocate the spread of the free trade order.
Cooperation between South Korea and Japan can be strengthened via getting away from the exclusive nationalist sentiment and practicing a two-track approach by the two governments: separating the past history from its economic and security cooperation. Even now, the two governments should return to the principle of a two-track approach and reconsider their strategic status toward the counterpart. To this end, South Korea and Japan should find a driving force for cooperation between the two states while prioritizing conflict management over pending issues of the past.
※ Translator’s note: This is a third party’s 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.