United States in Effort to Help Korea Japan relations

kpopluv, Dec. 12, 2014, 1:18 p.m.

The U.S. will put improving relations between South Korea and Japan at the top of its diplomatic agenda next year, according to Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel.  Russel was speaking at an event in Washington called Korea Global Forum 2014: CSIS-EAI Conference on Korean Unification hosted by the Center for Strategic International Studies on Wednesday. 

He expressed hope of improvement in relations between the two key allies of the U.S. next year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization ties.  "I can't overstate the importance that we place on strong, healthy, good relations between Korea and Japan. I'm hopeful that we will see progress this year on sensitive issues and important legacy issues and an enduring improvement in overall relations. Fostering that improvement is a priority for the U.S."

The term "legacy issues" appears to be a euphemism for discord over Japan’s attempts to whitewash its colonial and wartime atrocities and reluctance to compensate the victims.  "No one party can solve those legacy issues alone," he said. "It takes continued and sincere efforts by all concerned to lead to a mutually satisfying resolution that will be durable and that will open the door to the fully unfettered cooperation that the people of Japan, the people of Korea, and the people of the U.S., and in fact the countries of the region as well as the global economy."

Russel expressed concern that if relations between Korea and Japan continue on the present icy footing, it will have negative impact on the world economy as well as regional security.  The U.S. is trying to strengthen the three-way alliance to curb the emergence of China as a regional superpower while American influence wanes.

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