Japan’s relations with South Korea continued to be tense. After the negotiations between the two countries on the day before the failure of the Agreement on Military Intelligence Protection (GSOMIA), South Korea’s Qingwatai decided to postpone the termination of the military agreement on November 22. The disputes between the two countries and the disputes over trade issues are still “turning.” All disputes must be discussed by World War II.
Historical issues before and after World War II
Japan and North Korea are inseparable in modern history. The Korean peninsula was occupied by Japan from 1910 to 1945. During World War II, Japan forced the Koreans to work or become “comfort women.”
The two countries formally established diplomatic relations in 1965. The documents for the establishment of diplomatic relations involved the issue of Japan’s expropriation of Korean workers’ compensation during the Second World War. Japan compensated South Korea for $300 million in funding and extended $200 million in low-interest loans.
The agreement also states that all claims have been “finally and completely resolved”. However, not all Koreans are satisfied with the agreement, and many victims of World War II have always insisted that the agreement is invalid.
Forced labor compensation in World War II
The Supreme Court of South Korea ruled at the end of 2018 that several Japanese companies, such as Nippon Steel and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, were required to compensate workers who were forced by Japan during World War II.
In the Korean language, the government announced that it would dissolve the Japanese grant and support the “Reconciliation Fund” for “comfort women.” Although South Korea claimed that it did not tear up the agreement, the action was equivalent to overthrowing the agreement of the “comfort women’s agreement” signed by the former Park Geun-hye government and Japan. The Japanese government believes that South Korea has undermined international promises.
Export restrictions and kicking out whitelists
The Japanese and South Korean governments have rushed to the relationship between the two countries by 2019 because of the problems of forced compensation for workers in the Second World War, the comfort of women and the sovereignty of Dokdo (Japan called Zhudao).
The Japanese government restricted the export of three high-tech materials from South Korea in July on the grounds of national security; South Korea announced on August 22 that it suspended the “Military Intelligence Protection Agreement” signed with Japan.The South Korean military held a two-day Dokdo defense exercise on August 25 and 26. Japan believes that the exercise is unacceptable and protests to the ROK.
From August 28th, the Japanese side will remove South Korea for trade facilitation “white list”South Korea not only complained to the World Trade Organization on the Japanese issue, but also removed Japan from the export whitelist on September 18.
South Korea’s massive strikeout and UNIQLO advertising
South Korea has launched a large-scale strike to buy Japanese goods since July, refusing to travel to Japan, causing Japanese goods to fall in South Korea. In October, South Korean visitors to Japan fell by 65.5% compared with the same period in 2018. The number of flights from South Korea to Japan was largely cancelled, and the area relying on Korean tourists was hit hard.
New advertisements broadcast by Japanese fashion brand UNIQLO are also involved in the storm. The advertisement was accused of insinuating “comfort women” and the suspicion of whitewashing Japanese colonial history.The “comfort woman” is considered to be a woman who became a Japanese slave under the circumstances of being forced, abducted or deceived in World War II.
This advertisement triggered the anger of the Korean people. UNIQLO will withdraw the relevant advertisements in South Korea on October 21 after the advertisements are aired, but stressed that the company has no intention of offending.
Terminate GSOMIA cycle
The Agreement on Military Intelligence Protection (GSOMIA) between Japan and South Korea originally failed on November 23. After continuous negotiations between the two sides, Qingwatai decided to postpone the termination of the military agreement.
Kyodo News quoted Japanese government sources as saying that the Japanese and South Korean governments have reached a consensus on the issue of export control disputes between the two countries, and South Korea will stop its move to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Japan and South Korea will Initiate consultations on trade management. Some analysts believe that the US exerts pressure, and some people refer to or are related to the Japanese attitude.