Is South Korea Pro-China and Anti-Japan? It’s Complicated.

Seoul’s complicated history prevents it from being inherently anti-Tokyo or pro-Beijing.

by Sungtae Jacky Park, The National Interest

In 2014, Japan reinterpreted its constitution to give the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) the right to participate in collective self-defense. In response, a South Korean progressive lawmaker said that “Japan, as a country that doesn’t repent for its history of war crimes, has become a nation that can wage war again.” In response to Japan’s 2015 passage of bills to legalize collective self-defense, a South Korean conservative lawmaker criticize the shift as “an attempt by the [Shinzo] Abe government to seize hegemony in East Asia.” These reactions by South Korean politicians no doubt have been motivated by the desire to boost their domestic standings.… Read the full article.