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 Full Article