Featured   Publications

What’s Behind Japan and South Korea’s Latest Attempt to Mend Ties?

What’s Behind Japan and South Korea’s Latest Attempt to Mend Ties?

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

By: Frank Aum;  Mirna Galic

The meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida earlier this month — the first bilateral summit between South Korean and Japanese leaders in over a decade — was welcomed by both sides as a major step toward renewing relations. Despite ample common cause on issues such as regional security and economic growth, ties between the two countries have been strained in recent years over unresolved disputes stemming from Japan’s colonial occupation of Korea.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace ProcessesReconciliation

Japan, South Korea Must Address Mounting ‘Debt’ of Historical Atrocities

Japan, South Korea Must Address Mounting ‘Debt’ of Historical Atrocities

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

By: Tom Phuong Le

Few issues between Japan and South Korea draw as much attention and political resources while producing such ephemeral results as historical reconciliation. In two years, the countries will reach milestones for major agreements, such as the 10th anniversary of the 2015 “comfort women” agreement and the 60th anniversary of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea. Between these two landmark deals are several official Japanese apologies, government speeches acknowledging Japan’s colonial past, visits by Japanese dignitaries to Korean memorial sites, a public-private reparations program, government-level “friendship” initiatives and civil society efforts to grapple with so-called history issues.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Reconciliation

Beyond the Courts: History-Related Lawsuits and South Korea-Japan Relations

Beyond the Courts: History-Related Lawsuits and South Korea-Japan Relations

Thursday, January 26, 2023

By: Celeste L. Arrington

While the relationship between South Korea and Japan is fraught with a number of historical and territorial disputes, the current cycle of tensions focuses our attention on lawsuits related to the colonial era. Most notably, bilateral ties soured after 2018, when two landmark rulings from the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean plaintiffs for their wartime forced labor.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Reconciliation

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Current   Projects

Resolving Tensions Between South Korea and Japan: An Essay Series

Resolving Tensions Between South Korea and Japan: An Essay Series

South Korea and Japan normalized relations in 1965, but unresolved historical disputes continue to undermine genuine bilateral reconciliation and optimal diplomatic, security and economic cooperation. Past efforts, both between the two countries and trilaterally with the United States, to help improve relations have generally emphasized a “future-oriented” approach that focused on common security and economic interests.

Reconciliation

Crisis Communications with China in the Indo-Pacific

Crisis Communications with China in the Indo-Pacific

In today’s era of strategic competition between the United States and China, crises are more likely than ever in the Indo-Pacific region. Effective mechanisms are therefore needed to prevent such crises from escalating into armed conflict. To this end, USIP is examining crisis communication mechanisms and negotiations between China and its regional neighbors to identify common issues and themes across countries to provide lessons that can be learned and shared.

Civilian-Military RelationsConflict Analysis & PreventionMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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