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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid