Asan Plenum

Panel: Never Been Worse? Korea-Japan Relations
Date/Time: April 29, 2015 / 13:30-14:45

Moderator: Martin Fackler, The New York Times

Alexis Dudden, University of Connecticut
Nishino Junya, Keio University
Park Cheol Hee, Seoul National University
Scott Snyder, Council on Foreign Relations

Panel Description

Korea-Japan relations have hit an all-time low, fraught with mutual mistrust and animosity. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s revisionist views on Japan’s wartime conduct and territorial claims coupled with his attempt to shed Japan’s post-war pacifism have angered many Koreans. Meanwhile, President Park Geun-hye is also taking a tough nationalist position, refusing to even meet Abe two years into her presidency. Given that this year marks 70 years since Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule and 50 years since her father controversially normalized diplomatic relations with Japan, Park’s own nationalist rhetoric will likely be tougher than ever. American policymakers have long been frustrated at the deadlock, calling for both sides to move forward in their relationship instead of fighting over the past. What role should the U.S. play in managing South Korea-Japan relations, if any? How can the current deadlock in South Korea-Japan relations be overcome?