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South Korea and Japan Agree to Strengthen Economic and Military Ties

by Byrne Anderson
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In their first conference after a decade, South Korea and Japan agreed to strengthen their defense and economic ties. It also acts as a forum to repair relations damaged by long-standing and historical disputes. In today’s latest news, the US hailed the summit and said it helped the two close allies work together and tackle the regional threats from North Korea and China.

At the summit, Tokyo and Seoul agreed to share intelligence on threats like missile launches from North Korea. They decided to improve economic security by ensuring cooperation in areas like supply chains. Fumio Kishida, the Japanese Prime Minister, said it opens an era for cooperation between the two nations.

Agrees to relax restrictions on exports to South Korea

The Japanese trade ministry said on Thursday that restrictions on exports to South Korea would be lifted soon. It helps facilitate the export of certain chemicals for the production of semiconductors in South Korea. Exports of these chemicals were halted following a low point in tensions between the two nations in 2019.

The visit of Mr. Yoon comes after the South Korean administration proposed a plan last week to resolve the standoff with Tokyo over payments disputes with Koreans. The Koreans were forced to work for the companies of Japan during World War II. The summit helps the two nations iron out their differences and mark a new era in their relations. It is evident from the images of leaders shaking hands with smiling faces.

The two US allies, South Korea and Japan were often at odds in the past decade over issues like the name of the sea that separates them and ownership of rocky outcroppings in the sea, which are controlled by South Korea.

Kishida and Yoon enjoyed a beer together in a restaurant in the Ginza district. The restaurant serves an omelet wrapped around fried rice, also called omu-raisu, a Japanese comfort food, to the guests.

Reason for warming ties between Seoul and Tokyo

In the most recent USA news, the growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea are one of the reasons for a warming relationship between the two nations. A ballistic missile fired by North Korea on Thursday landed in the sea between Japan and the Korean peninsula. During the summit, Kishida outlined the importance of cooperation between the two nations and with the United States of America. The alliance would strengthen its deterrence against North Korea.

Rahm Emanuel, the ambassador of the US to Japan, said Yoon played a vital role in improving cooperation with Tokyo despite a political risk in his nation, where anti-Japan sentiments and protests are strong. He went on to say that cooperation between the two nations is important and helps the US because its rivals, such as China, are trying to create a wedge between its allies. He also said the main strategy of China is division.

A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Wang Wenbin, said it has noted the recent summit between Seoul and Tokyo and reminded Tokyo to maintain normal relations with its neighbors in Asia. On Thursday, Wang went on to say that maintaining stable supply chains is also important for South Korea, Japan, and China. However, it opposes the formation of any exclusionary cliques at the behest of the US.

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