News / Asia

US Looks to Ease Japan-S Korea Tensions

US Looks to Ease Japan- S. Korea Tensionsi
X
April 23, 2013 11:38 AM
The United States is hoping to help ease tensions between Japan and South Korea that could undermine regional unity on North Korea. As VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, South Korea's foreign minister cancelled a trip to Japan this week over a visit by Japanese government ministers to a controversial war shrine.
The United States is hoping to help ease tensions between Japan and South Korea that could undermine regional unity on North Korea. South Korea's foreign minister cancelled a trip to Japan this week over a visit by Japanese government ministers to a controversial war shrine.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said Japan and South Korea are central to containing North Korean aggression. So Washington is working to reduce tensions between Tokyo and Seoul.

"We believe that strong and constructive relations between countries in the region -- particularly our allies South Korea and Japan -- promote peace and stability and are in the interest of those countries and indeed of the United States," said Patrick Ventrell, Deputy State Department Spokesman.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se cancelled a trip to Tokyo this week after Japanese cabinet ministers visited a controversial war shrine.

The shrine honors Japanese war dead, including convicted war criminals. For Koreans, who lived under Japanese rule for decades, the shrine is a symbol of Japanese imperialism.

"Our government strongly urges the Japanese government to immediately stop its anachronistic action and take a responsible measure based on the correct knowledge of history so that it can restore trust from neighboring countries," Cho Tai-Young, spokesman, S. Korean Foreign Ministry.

Japan says the shrine visits were private.

"Each country has its own stance. So I do not believe that these sort of things should affect diplomacy between the countries," stated Yoshihide Suga, Chief cabinet secretary.

Michael Auslin is director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He says this relationship is one of Washington's biggest problems.

"There is a whole host of issues that we talk about at the most very basic level because Japan and Korea can't get together. And it's long overdue for us to get Tokyo and Seoul to work more closely," he said.

He says part of the problem is how Japan approaches its war-time past but both countries should look forward.

"They face the same threats: North Korea in the short term and quite frankly a significant challenge from China in the medium and long term. They must work better together," Auslin said.

Tokyo and Seoul are also at odds over the Liancourt Rocks -- small islands in the Sea of Japan that are currently controlled by South Korea.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid